March 1, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
At Burnley, Everton hope to find Fielding rehabilitating an attack which has seemed a little lost without his experience. O’Neill makes a return after long absence to goal and Sanders gets his place to the exclusion of Donovan. Burnley are such hot stuff on their own pitch it will take a tremendous effort by Everton if they are to win. Victory here would be almost as unexpected as it was at Bolton. Time Everton gave some home team a similar jolting. Everton; ONeill; Sanders, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Fielding, and Harris (B).
AS YOU SEE IT
March 1, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
When Everton Played By Wells Lights
Sir-Everton’s oldest supporter; Mr. J.C. Sharrett of 76 Stalmine Road, Liverpool 9 in his letter appearing in Daily Post on Thursday in claiming to be Everton’s oldest supporters has started something. Let me first of all correct him on two points Everton beat Newcastle United at the Crystal Palace by 1-0 by Sandy Young who scored the only goal. Secondly, Everton’s inside right was Hughie Bolton not Joe Bolton. The same Hughie was on the shareholders stand two of three seasons back sitting next to my son. In his letter Mr. Sharratt asks “Do any of your readers remember the late George Robey kicking off at Anfield. Yes, he played in an annual “Theatrical Gala match” when all the pantomime stars took part for charity. I think the late Tom Bush of the Bee Hotel St John’s Lane, was the organisier of this annual event. I have no recollection of Johnny Best playing for Everton, but the occasion might have been an isolated one (in the first team) like the late Tom Crompton who appeared in the Everton team as centre forward and was in later years chairman of the Liverpool club. I also lived for years close to the Everton ground at Anfield Road and have been a keen supporter of Everton from the age of eight years if not before that. I remember old players such as George Farmer, Alec Dick, Mike Higgins, Charlie Parry, &c., and the following noted team;- Goal; R. Smaller, Backs Hannah and Doyle; Half-backs Kirkwood, Holt, Parry; Forwards; Latta, Brady, Geary, Chadwick, Milward,. Season 1888-1890. The players dressed in the Sandon Hotel and walked to the ground which had a big open space where Spion Kop now stands and on the spot traveling circuses and menagerie occasionally appeared for a season. Now for my last startler. Can any reader remember Everton playing West Bromwich Albion in a charity match. I believe it was for the West Bromwich Hospital Charity Cup at night time when the ground was lit up by Wells Lights? Reader who played in long flannel trousers was in goal for W,B.A. –John Owen, Hanifryn, 30 Darlington Road, Childwall, Liverpool 16.
EVERTON THE ‘NEW LOOK’ GIVE BURNLEY A SHOCK
March 1, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Burnley 0, Everton 2
Burnley; McDonald, goal; Angus and Winter, backs; Miller, Adamson, and Shannon, half-backs; Newlands, Connolly, Pointer, Cheesborough, and Pilkington, forwards. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Sanders and Tansey, backs; Rea, Jones (captain), and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Fielding, and Harris (B), forwards. Referee; Mr. K.R. Tuck (Chesterfield).
Burnley went straight into the attack and for some time Everton were strictly on the defensive, but in their very first attack Meagan was brought down rather vigorously by Adamson and the referee had a word to say with the offender about the matter. When play resumed Shannon just stopped Jimmy Harris in the nick of time and when Pointer had hit a shot, O’Neill dropped on the ball quite confidently. Harris (J.) after making a reasonable opportunity, for himself, kicked round the ball and so a good chance went amiss. Some of the football by both sides was of good quality, even though neither goalkeeper had been seriously tested so far. Connolly was remiss from a scoreable position and O’Neill had to cut out a centre from Cheesebrough. At the 11th minute Thomas got a great chance and he took it with alacrity. McDonald, the Burnley goalkeeper, seemed to go much too late for the ball, for it was in the net before he elected to make his effort.
A Trifle Lucky
Cheeseborough tried a long shot which never had any chance of beating O’Neill. The Burnley defence was a trifle lucky during one rather hectic attacking spell by Everton for the ball luckily rebounded from a Burnley man straight to his own goalkeeper. Fielding spread the ball about intelligently, but Jimmy Harris found Winton a rather tough nut to crack. Hickson, although closely marked by Adamson, was able to make heady passes to his inside colleagues, and Thomas from one of them, tried a drop shot which passed harmlessly wide.
Burnley were striving hard to get on level terms but they met a very resolute Everton defence. Thomas had a snap shot stopped by Shannon’s foot and then Pilkington tested O’Neill with a ground shot, but the Irish keeper was well up to the task. There was plenty of incidents, and a header by Hickson forced McDonald to make a late tip over his crossbar. Burnley had made several fine openings, and Pointer should have done better when he was put right through and then shot outside. Fielding fouled Miller just outside the penalty box and Cheesebourough lobbed the ball over the bar. Pointer who had several good opportunities of scoring headed over and just on the interval Newcastle forced O’Neill to a good save. Half-time; Burnley nil, Everton 1
Burnley’s new manager Mr. Harry Potts must have had a few words to say to his players during the interval for they came out showing much more spirit and fight during the first minute than they had done all the game and the Everton defence had to put in some solid work to hold their slender lead. Cheeseborough missed from a scoreable position. In fact the Burnley forwards were taking too long to find an opening.
Not so Brian Harris who let loose a fast rising shot which McDonald saved. There was another free kick taken a foot outside the penalty area when Winter brought down Fielding and Hickson had his centre collected by the Burnley keeper. But at the 58th minute Everton had increased their lead to two goals through Thomas who picked up a ball which had been handled about in front of the Burnley goal and slapped it into the net without hesitation.
“No Goal” Decision
During one terrific melee in front of the Everton goal O’Neill went up for a ball and seemed to be charged over. He lost possession and during a scrimmage I think it was Connolly who put the ball into the net, but on appeal the referee decided it was “no goal.” The resultant free kick sent Everton off and a foul by Adamson on Hickson produced another free kick, again just outside the Burnley penalty area. This was speedily cleared.
Jimmy O’Neill brought off the best save of the game when he edged over his crossbar a lightning like drive by Pilkington. The game got a little rough and Sanders was spoken to for a foul on Pilkington. Official attendance 19,657.
SOCCER’S FUTURE DEPENDS ON AIR TRAVEL
March 1, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
By Don Donovan
With the Munich air disaster still on our minds, the talking point of late among professional footballers has been air travel. Many members of the Everton playing staff have always been hesitant about travelling by plane. When the club were touring the United States and Canada, much of our travelling was done by air, and one could always feel the tension among the lads each time we made a trip. In the last stage of our tour we were to fly from Toronto to Burtonwood, but plans were altered due to a last minute fixture, and the players were asked if they would rather go back by boat. The majority readily agreed. There, however, were not the final arrangements as seats were obtained for us to travel home by plane. By the attitude of the lads regarding this incident, you may imagine their reaction to air travel.
Flying has much to do with the future of soccer, especially when European and World Cup matches are involved. I know that the first reaction after such an accident as that at Munich is to ban flying but I don’t think that it will come to that. If however, such a decision is reached than I don’t consider it to be a good one. The advance made by clubs in the past five years or so will have counted for nothing and this progress has not been easy. You remember when Chelsea were Division one champions they were asked not to take part in the European Cup, as were Manchester United. Manchester carried on and showed the world that English football was still the tops. I think it is only fair to say that United have done more than any other club to bring about a world soccer league. One day I hope this league will be started. Since the tragedy a number of clubs, both at home and on the Continent have cancelled journeys by air, but other clubs are carrying on, which shows that the position I divided. The League Management Committee may decide that all air trips be suspended during the football season for the time. However, I am sure that in the near future progress will demand its return. Preston North End have not been put off. They are touring South African in the close season, the party being split into two and travelling in separate planes. I am pleased to see this as it may help other clubs to follow suit. There is always bound to be a danger, whether soccer clubs travel by plane, coach or train and if Everton arranged any trips by air, I would go, unhesitatingly. Once you have been up in a plane you realize its advantages and I don’t consider it any more dangerous than any other mode of travel.
DO YOU REMEMBER
March 1, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
How many readers remember when Everton left Anfield to go to Goodison Park? Three players stayed behind and signed for Liverpool, Hannah and McLean (full backs) and Wyllie (outside right). I also remember Liverpool beating Everton 1-0 in the final of the Liverpool Cup at Bootle’s ground, Hawthorn Road, McLean scored from a free kick. In those days Everton’s colours were salmon jerseys and Liverpool’s blue and white squares –William Barfoot, 43 Radcliffe Street, Liverpool 6.
EVERTON RES V, W. BROM
March 1, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Reserves; Dunlop, goal; Donovan and Hillsdon, backs; Birch, Labone, and Clayton, half-backs; Todd, Temple, Ashworth, Keeley and B. Godfrey, forwards. West Bromwich Albion;- Brown, goal; Bradley and Williams, backs; Drury, Hughes, and Horne, half-backs; Campbell, Burnside, Robinson, Dunsmore and Lee, forwards. Referee; Mr. A. Arrowsmith (Adlington). Everton were a goal down within two minutes when Lee scored after Campbell had shot against an upright. A moment later Dunlop was fortunate to clear a good effort by Robinson. Albion were finding their men better with their wingers particularly dangerous and Campbell volleyed fierce drive over the bar with Dunlop beaten. While never capturing the rhythm of Albion, Everton came near to scoring on several occasions, notably when Brown was out of goal, but Ashworth could not find the empty net from a bad angle. Keeley and Birch also went close with good efforts. Towards the interval the Burnside and Robinson to force Dunlop to make good saves. Half-time Everton Reserves nil, West Bromwich Res 1.
TWO MASTER STROKES BY THOMAS
March 3, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Burnley 0, Everton 2
Two firmly hit goals by their young inside right, Eddie Thomas, brought Everton their first League victory since Boxing Day and helped to banish any lingering fears that they might find themselves involved in an undignified end of season scramble to avoid relegation. It would be heartening to report that Everton’s performance gave promise of permanent improvement, that they have regained the pose and precision that characterized their September success. Unfortunately it would not be true. In a match more notable for pretty fouls than fluent football, there was little to choose between two undistinguished sides save that in Thomas, Everton possessed the one man capable of shooting hard and accurately. Thomas’ two goals in the 11th and 58th minutes, stood out from a welter of untidy football like the fitful rays of spring sunshine stabbing their way through the Turf Moor mark. The first began with a pass from Brian Harris to Hickson wandering leftwards to avoid Adamson iron clutch. Two men barred Thomas way as he breasted down Hickson’s centre on the edge of the penalty area but with a twisting, stumbling, lurch – reminiscent of a drunk reeling home through the blackout – he slipped them both and drove for ball savagely into the farthest corner of the net.
The second goal was less spectator but executed with similar efficiency. A Brian Harris pass put Thomas in possession some twenty yards out and again Thomas was able to unbalance and evade a couple of challengers before slipping the ball neatly beneath the diving McDonald. Apart from Thomas, who alone of Everton’s young hopefuls seems to do good things consistently and not in occasional flashes the most impressive forward was the reinstated veteran Wally Fielding. He shuffled his way round the field with patient determination did his best to drive movements forwards instead of sideways and was also back to do his share of the tackling –having his name taken in the process. The Everton half back line seemed to link up better with their forwards in the second half, but were not helped by Hickson’s slowness and their wingers’ determination to lie incomprehensibly deep. One would have thought much more use might be made of Jimmy Harris’ speed and shooting power. Although I was one of those surprised by Dunlop’s omission it must be said O’Neill had a first rate game. His handling was faultless and he also managed to find his forwards, something Dunlop has not been doing so well recently. A pity there is not similar high class competition for other positions in the team. For a side previously beaten but twice at home, Burnley were a big disappointment and their new manager, Harry Potts looks to have some problems on his hands.
Though Connolly played fairly well Mcllroy –absent with a groin injury –was badly missed and there seemed none capable of holding the line together. Cheeseborough, Newlands and Pilkington were clever enough but so hypnotized by the intricacy of their own dribbling that they forbore to part with the ball. Much more impressive was the fair haired Pointer at centre forward who despite missing innumerable chances was always in position to receive them and never stopped trying. Even the famous Burnley defence had an off-day for once Adamson and Shannon (who had his name taken following a rather childish display of pique) tackled ferociously and McDonald kept a safe goal, but there was noticeable need of a guiding hand. The only signs of genuine fighting spirit came late in the second half, when after Winton and Pilkington had been foiled by O’Neill, Connelly got the ball in the net following a free kick by Shannon. Unfortunately for them referee Tuck had spotted a handling infringement and the goal was disallowed to the chargin of a section of the crowd. Not content with booing Mr. Tuck they proceeded to pelt a linesman with orange peel, and displayed considerably more animation than at any other time during the afternoon.
EVERTON RESERVES 1 WEST BROMWICH ALBION RESERVES 1
March 3, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Forced to defend for long periods and never equaling the Albion’s fluent moves, Everton were lucky to share the points in a game containing too much severe tackling. Better finishing by the inside forwards would have enabled the vistors to augment Lee’s second minute goal long before Ashworth equalized eighty-one minutes later. In the Everton defence only goalkeeper Dunlop reached his normal form for the full backs failed to curb the Albion’s enterprising wingers even when right back Donovan and right half Brian switched positions after the interval.
IT WAS EASY FOR EVERTON AT BURNLEY
March 3, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton have broken the spell at last, and while their win at Burnley was not accomplished by football perfection it was a victory well and truly earned and I hope that it means the turning of the tide. I said the same thing after their success at Bolton on Boxing Day but straight away they went and let me down, I hope that is not going to be my portion again, although I am still not satisfied that the present set-up at Goodison Park is all that can be desired. The directors know that too and they were out in force over the week and seeking new players and it would not surprise me if a signing was announced in the course of the next few years. When assessing a victory one naturally has to consider strength of the opposition and the Burnley of Saturday’s was about the poorest Burnley team I have seen in years. It would appear that the new manager Mr. Harry Potts, has a lot on his plate to bring if back to what can be classed as worthy Division 1 side.
True, Burnley were without their keyman Mcllroy one of the cleverest inside forwards in the game. His absence undoubtedly means a whole of to Burnley. There seemed to method about their play. I was told it was the worst display Burnley had put up for many a long day, and I quite believe it, for even when they were hammering the Everton defence – and they did that quite frequently –there was no subtlety in their play. Their most flagrant fault was their finishing. They made so many openings in the first half that it seemed impossible that they could go through 90 minutes of football –save the word – without notching a single goal. Why was this? Partly because the Everton defence defended stubbornly, but a more likely answer was that the Burnley forwards took too long to make up their minds. On the few occasions they did take a chance they found O’Neill in great form. Turf Moor seems to be one of his happy grounds for on his last appearance there he was nothing short of marvelous. But even O’Neill in his present mood should not have been given the chance. Practically all the Burnley forwards at the time or other were in undeniable scoring positions but either whipped the ball outside or only half hit their shots so Everton survived.
They underwent a grueling at times, but I always saw greater danger in Everton’s sorties and Thomas showed the Burnley forwards how it was done when Brian Harris lifted over a ball to Hickson. The Everton leader headed it on to Thomas who calmly brought the ball down with his chest and then slammed the ball across with his right foot. Even admitting that Thomas took his goal extremely well, I thought McDonald moved too late for the shot which was in the net before he made his effort. But even this did not make the Burnley attack the need for a quickly delivered shot. They wanted to walk the ball into the net. Burnley are above Everton in the League table, but many more displays like this with send them tumbling down. No doubt the new manager had something to say to his staff at the interval. It was there that the Everton defence had to prove its worth and right well it stood to the challenge. There was still that lack of method about Burnley. Let me take the case of Pilkington –on the fringe of international recognition –usually a first-class workman. He was quite able to bear Sanders, but then simply landed the ball into the goalmouth where neither the head of Tommy Jones (or other) was there to receive it. Nor did the other winger Newlands, have a happy time in fact I though the main danger to Everton was Pointers who was always up to receive the chances, even though he failed to take them. So much for Burnley, what about Everton? It was pleasing to record a win. I wish it had been before a Goodison Park crowd which has had so little to cheer about this season, even though the assessment of the opposition was so low. The incoming of Fielding brought more smoothness into the Everton attack for he made some wise passes, but came under the ban of the referee’s as did Shannon. In fact quite a bit of feeling crept into the game. Naturally Thomas who took Everton’s second goal rather smartly was the hero of the forwards for neither of the Harris boys was quite success.
The defence played heroically, Tommy Jones got a knock on the wrist and came out for the second half with it bandaged yet he was one of the big men when things were flowing Burnley’s way. He had a helpful lieutenant in Tansey and Meagan and Rea stood their ground magnificently. But the man who really put Everton on a winning path was O’Neill who made several astounding saves. Perhaps his best was from Pilkington when he knuckled the ball over the crossbar. Burnley did manage to get the ball into the Everton net but the ref disallowed the goal because of an infringement. The crowd resented this and showed their displeasure so much that the ref asked that two policemen be stationed in the vicinity of the goal. I trust this Everton victory is the forerunner of many others. But I warm you that this was not a brilliant victory. It was accomplished against poor opposition.
March 5, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Everton’s many scouting missions recently have not yet succeeded. The player who impressed them most John Reid, a Scottish inside forward whose transfer from Hamilton Academicals to Bradford City cost the Bradford club £6,000 last December is not available. The Bradford City player who is for transfer Bakes and who partners Reid on the left wing does not meet Everton requirements though his name has been linked with theirs. I understand Everton have had several careful scruities of Reid and that their notice was drawn to this player originally by a famous player. Everton’s bid for Reid was a five figure one. Bradford City, managed by the former Wrexham manager Peter Jackson, have other players who are attracting attention.
HIS EXPERIENCE OF EVERTON EXTENDS OVER 72 YEARS
March 3, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Sir- with regard to Mr. Sharratt’s letter in which he says “I must be the oldest supporters of Everton’” it is a pity he did not tell us when he was born. I am now writing a few memories for you so that you may use them in your interesting column. I was born about a quarter of an hour’s walk from the ground on which Everton played before their removal to Goodison Park. I can remember some of the players of the Everton team in 1887; George Dobson, and George Farmer and Alec Dick. I can very vividly remember season 1889/90 when Everton players including Bob Smalley and Hannah and Doyle, Johnnie Holt and Latta, Brady, Parry, Chadwick and Fred Geary. An interesting incident I shall always remember when I was a boy –being behind Hannah and Doyle, was hearing Hannah say in very board Scots “Now Dan be cautious,” as Dan appeared to advance too far up the field; And how well I remember George Mahon not only as a leading administrator in the affairs of Everton, but as the highly respected and greatly –loved organist of Great Homer, Wesleyan Church. And of course I remember Alec Latta. Didn’t I carry his bag on many occasions from his lodgings in Stanfield Road to the Anfield ground via the Sandon Hotel wherein the players dressed and unaddressed at every match. Alec then worked I think at the Cunard Line. He was a yacht builder and a magnificent craftsman. How he loved a cigar at the right time. But he always was faithful to what I think were the club’s instructions that players should not smoke a day of the start of any match. How I delighted to ask him, while he was enjoying the hospitality of my parents home who was the finest goalkeeper he had ever seen; and who were the best backs and half-backs he had ever played against and so on. I can too, remember many of the most interesting answers. In case you may wonder why he was often in my old home, it might be worthwhile to tell you that he become my brother-in-law –my idol as an outside right, and in my opinion the best in that position the Everton club has ever had on their books. How well I remember John Griffiths as one of the linesmen. One of the things I do not remember is whether the famous Nick Ross ever played in an Everton team with Alec Latta, I have a faint idea that before they met as Everton and Preston players respectively they had encountered each other at a match played at Anfield between players chosen from Dumbartonshire (Alec came from Dumbarton Athletic in, I think 1889-90 season after playing for Scotland against England in 1888-89 and Lancashire I think Nick Ross was the left back of the Lancashire team. While we sometimes talk today of difference in the gate if Stanley Matthews is not playing, folk used to make a special point of not missing the match between Everton and Preston N.E in order that they might witness the duels between two men who were regarded as double-dyed experts. I can still come down, the years and recall such masters as Attersmith, Jock Rutherford, Alec Jackson, Sam Wadsworth, Jimmy Blair, Eddie Hapgood, Warney Cresswell as full backs and still hold the view that Latta and Ross could stand their ground with them all. The opening match at Goodison Park is still fresh in my memory (1892). And so is that unfortunate affair at Fallowfield when Wolves beat Everton after Everton had beaten Wolves at Wolverhampton with a weakened team the week before. I was invited to sign for Everton after playing in a private practice match at Goodison Park at one hour’s notice. The players I remember in the two teams were Jack Sharp and his brother who played full back with me. Eccles, Billy Balmer and Oldham. I shall be an octogenarian in a few months time and have Everton memories covering 72 years. E.H. Bridson The Tithebarn, Moor Lane, Crosby.
Sir- I am not making any claim to be the oldest inhabitant by my vote would be for Mr. John Owen in preference to Mr. Sharratt, yet I think Mr. Owen’s memory has played him just that little trick in linking up the Theatrical days and the late George Robey. I used to go to those old galas in the early nineties but in short the football match was really buffoonery. To explain –Everton had to play in top hats and if a player had his hat knocked off he was not entitled to play the ball. Then the pantomime policeman would arrest an Everton player and march him off and so on; any stunt possible to make humour. After the split with Everton and the Anfield ground, the gala continued, the theatricals playing Liverpool but it was really some years later that George Robey came on the scene but I cannot just pin point the year. But the difference was this –George Robey got a full team of internationals together and he used to play centre forward and there would be a really decent match played against a local side. Regarding Johnny Best. He did not play for Everton but it was an emergency Everton were stuck for a goalkeeper and Johnny used to play regularly as an amateur for Orrell (in the I Zingari League ) so he roped in hurriedly the fact being that he was an amateur and professional consequences avoided. I think Mr. Owen has confused the Crompton brothers Tom Crompton was fair and a very good billiards player. Jack Crompton was dark and more athletic looking. I do not like contradicting him but I do think he will find I am right in plumping for Jack Crompton. Finally I remember the Wells lights but cannot recall the particular match he mentioned, but I remember Reader the West Bromwich goalkeeper very well in his long white cricket trousers. I saw him once in shorts against Liverpool and as his legs appeared to be very spindly I realized why he preferred the long ones. And for all that he was an international. H.N. Ellis, 4 Greendale Road, Woolton.
AS YOU SEE IT
March 6, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Sir-Here is an item of news which I am sure will be of interest to readers of your column, regarding a candidate to be nominated by a number of shareholders at the next annual meeting of Everton F.C. He is Mr. Donald McPhail, a stockbroker, who lives at St. Phillips Avenue Liverpool. An amateur footballer in his younger days, Mr. McPhail played for Bootle Albion, and Northern Nomads and was at one time Secretary of the Exchange Sports Association. He has also played cricket at Bootle and has served on the Committee of that club. As a keen follower of Everton, we feel that McPhail would bring to the Everton Board a realization of what the public desire and have a right to expect –a team worthy of the name of Everton. A further object in our nominating a candidate is to gave shareholders the right to vote at the annual meeting. We would stress that Mr. McPhail is standing entirely independent and free from any grudge against any director. W. Macaulay 7, St. Brides Road, Wallasey.
EVERTON UNCHANGED FOR GAME AGAINST PRESTON
March 6, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton home to Preston North End on Saturday will field the same team as that which won at Burnley last week, but Preston may not decide the composition of their side until mid-way tomorrow. Mr. Cliff Britton, Preston’s manager, is awaiting later reports on two players recently indisposed, but who have been back in light training during the past couple of days. There are centre-half Joe Dunn, a victim of fish-poisoning which caused him to miss the game against Sunderland last week and left-half Frank O’Farrell who has had a recurrence of a rather unusual complaint. Last season O’Farrell, who was the subject of an exchange deal which took him from West Ham to Deepdale while centre-forward Eddie Lewis was making the journey in the opposite direction was troubled with violent nose-bleeding this often overlook him during the course of a game as well as at other times, and was quite a handicap. He underwent special treatment which involved being absent from football for over a month and it was thought that this had effected a cure. Unfortunately this hope has not been fulfilled and recently O’Farrell returned to hospital for a week for another examination and further treatment. He has since resumed training without any after effects but at the moment Mr. Britton has not made up his mind whether to play him on Saturday or retain Gordon Milne who has deputized for the former Hammer in the last two games. After their victory at Burnley it was more or less certain unless the signed a newcomer in the meantime, that Everton would stick to the same formation. The chances made last week by Chief Coach Ian Buchan were not without criticism but the proof of the pudding is in the eating and on that score they seem to have been justified. Everton; O’Neill; Sanders, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J.), Thomas, Hickson, Fielding, Harris (B.).
Everton reserves; (away to Chesterfield);- Dunlop; Birch (K.), Leeder; Donovan, Labone, Clayton; B. Godfrey, Temple, Llewellyn, Ashworth, Williams.
PRESTON WILL TEST BLUES TO THE FULL
March 7, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton, home tomorrow to Preston North End, have an opportunity to prove that their victory last week was not just a flash in the pan, but the beginning of a brighter period that will allay the fears of those who are still apprehensive regarding the future. There has been considerable stepping up of Everton’s scouting missions of recent weeks. Though nothing has materialized so far, I am assured that there will be acquisitions before long, and that the club is determined to turn its growing profits into playing strength. The eventual return of dryer grounds and conditions more comparable with those in the early part of the season may see an improvement in Everton’s points return. But they have several stiff engagements ahead of them, some of which, on the basis of recent displays, hardly look like the medium of victories. The engagement with Preston at Goodison tomorrow comes into that category, Preston have been doing extremely well in recent months, and had they not got off to such a shocking start in their away fixtures – they lost the first five on the trot – they would be an even bigger menace to Wolverhampton’s championship hopes. Once they had put an end to that depressing sequence, however, Preston have been going all one way. They have won six and drawn four of their last 11 away matches the only defeat since September being to Arsenal at Highbury. In those 11 games they have scored 29 goals to 17. Add to that the sacrifice of only three points in 15 home matches with a goal average of 48 to 10 and it needs no second sight to realize that Preston must be a sound and capable side.
The Danger Men
Their speedy and clever attack gets goals with regular frequency, the defence is excellent and the team spirit top class. Tom Finney, who has had many a field day at Goodison Park, will take a lot of watching tomorrow. His display last season was one of the best here from any centre forward for a long time. Tommy Thompson, one of the best inside forward acquisitions by any club for years, is another danger man. Thompson’s 28 League goals this season is his best during his three years at Deepdale. He has scored 20 of them in 11 of 15 matches. North End are still without Dunn, for whom Mattinson continues to deputise, but O’Farrell is fit again and takes over from Milne in an otherwise unchanged team. The eyes of most Evertonians will be concentrated on Derek Mayers, one of three players signed for Preston last summer by former Everton manager Mr. Cliff Britton at a total cost of £5,000. Of that Mayers proposition was £2,000. Today he is not far short of being in the £20,000 class. Now firmly established as a first team regular, Mayers will naturally be keen to prove against his old colleagues tomorrow that Everton were a trifle hasty in letting him go. No Everton follower needs remaining how long it is since the Blues won a League game at Goodison Park. It is a sore subject so we will skip it. Such a victory is more than overdue. If it comes against a team of Preston’s calibre it will be a splendid achievement. Everton; O’Neill; Sanders, Tansey; Rea,. Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Fielding, Harris (B). Preston; Else; Cunningham, Walton; Docherty, Martinson, O’Farrell, Mayers, Thompson, Finney, Baxter, Taylor.
A BOSS COMES BACK TO GOODISON PARK
March 8, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Preston’s chance of pipping Wolves for the League championship and the necessity for Everton to get safely points makes today’s match between these teams at Goodison Park more compelling than it would have been in these circumstances. Any visit of Preston is intriguing because the former Everton guv-nor (the players used to call him Boss), Cliff Britton, now manages affairs at Deepdale and because Preston have that lightly-built dodger, Tom Finney whose artistry and sportsmanship are invariably features of his play. Everyone who knew Cliff Britton well are glad he has done so well in his new job. When he joined Preston they were low in the table, now they ride high and none can say that success has been bought. On the contrary. The Britton plan is to make few changes to make everyone put in full efforts and to progress gradually rather than spectacularly. Cliff Britton has used Finneyt skill to fine effect and has made him the centre-piece of the attack rather than a winger we saw less than twelve months ago, how beneficial was to Finney to have all the centre of the field in which to work. As a winger who persisted in holding the ball he was sometimes crowded out.
Finney’s play against Tom Jones in a mid-week match a season ago was the best centre forward performance I ever saw. The going makes no difference to him. He has almost as many ways of beating a man or a defence as Matthews. Another link with Everton is Derek Mayers, whom Cliff Britton, took when Everton made their big clearance of players at last back-end. His faith in Mayers has been justified. Alec Farrell of Hoylake, is another former Everton player now at Preston, but he won’t be seen to-day. Odd that when at Goodison Park Britton should have as his general, Peter Farrell. Now, another Irishman O’Farrell, formerly f West Ham plats the same type of game in the Preston half-back line. Everton are standing on the side which gained then both points at Burnley. Sanders should have benetted from his return to first-class football. It will be interesting to see whether Thomas, whose recent play has been top-class, can maintain his form against very testing opponents. Everton; O’Neill; Sanders, Tansey; Rea,. Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Fielding, Harris (B). Preston; Else; Cunningham, Walton; Docherty, Martinson, O’Farrell, Mayers, Thompson, Finney, Baxter, Taylor.
A STERN TASK FOR EVERTON
March 8, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Proud Preston Still In The Running For The Title
Having broken the ice of continuous non-success with the victory or Burnley last week, Everton will be more confident about tackling Preston North End at Goodison Park this afternoon, but their task is quite a formidable one, for Manager Cliff Britton’s team comes with a very fine record. At the moment Preston are second to League leaders, Wolverhampton, being the only real challengers to the Midlanders’ hope of another championship, and those who see them regularly tell me they have been providing first class football in almost every game. Everton’s win came at an opportune time, for the club’s run of non success was having a depressing effect on attendances. Today, however, the figure should be improved for North End are always an attractive side to watch, and there will be quite an influx of their followers. In addition most of the Everton supporters who vowed “Never again” after the Newcastle defeat are likely to be back in their usual places today. There is nothing like an away victory for stimulating interest in the following Saturday’s home fixture. This is a game Everton will do well to win. Preston still have some leeway to make up on Wolves but they are not out of the title hunt, and the side is strong enough in all departments to provide a searching test for anyone. They have dropped only three points though defeat at the hands of Wolves and a draw with Manchester United before their supporters. All their other 13 home games have been won, the overall record being as near perfection as any but the most exacting supporter could wish. The old maxim of “win at home and average a point away” has also been adhered to by North End, whose 16 away games have yielded as many points. They have won three and drawn two of their last five matches on tour, and from their last ten League fixtures on all grounds have taken 18 points. The only unfortunate note in this run was the home reverse at the hands of Bolton in the third round of the F.A Cup. Inside right Tommy Thompson has established a club record by scoring in the last ten League games totally 16 goals in this sequence and 28 in all. He now heads the First Division marksmen, along with Turner of Luton Town.
Thompson only twice capped by England has been a consistent scorer throughout his career at Deepdale after service with Newcastle and Aston Villa. Even in an attack including the great Tom Finney, the former Villa man is not over-shadowed. Finney of course, is still a very fine player, a sign of his ability being his international form at centre forward since switching there 18 months ago, after years on the extreme wings. He claims 19 goals to date and may well have been much nearer Thompson’s total had he not had to miss five games. Third highest scorer in the Preston side is left winger Sammy Taylor, who has netted 13 times, including two hat-tricks. His partner, veteran Scott Jimmy Baxter, has only three goals to his credit. Baxter specializes in making bullets for others to line, but outside right Derek Mayers has scored seven times. Mayers is the former Everton player one of the three signed by the former chief, Mr. Cliff Britton, during last summer. The others were inside forward Alec Farrell, so unlucky with injuries when at Goodison and full back Ken Heyes. At a total of £5,000 for the three of them the former Everton manager made a wonderful bargain for his new club. Taking to him a week or so ago he told me that Mayers has adequately fulfilled the hopes he had of him. Jokingly I said; “How much would you let him go for if by any chance you had to part company.” His reply was; “I have never thought of it, and neither has Mayers, but I reckon his value today is at least around the £20,000 mark. Not bad for a £2,000 investment of nine months ago, which was the proportion Mayers cost. Farrell, who is also shaping promisingly, has had three senior outings this season, but with men like Thompson and Baxter staking their claims to regular first team selection by unvarying consistency the ex-Everton inside forward may have to wait a bit before getting a real chance to show just what he can do in top company. The same applies to full back Heyes, who has yet to make his senior debut for Preston, but who also, from all accounts is proving a useful acquisition to the Deepdale staff. The one-time Manchester United star “Joe Walton along with the rugged Scottish international, Willie Cunningham forms one of the best defensive pairings in the First Division, giving good perfection to young Fred Else, the very fine Preston goalkeeper.
Strong At Half
At half-back too, Manager Britton is well served the regulars being another Scot Tommy Docherty and Irish man Frank O’Farrell on the flanks with Joe Dunn in the middle. Dunn and O’Farrell were marked absent last week the one through fish poisoning and the other through a recurrence of the nose-bleeding affiliation which caused him to miss a month’s games last season and landed him in hospital for a time. He returns today, but Dunn is still off and Mattinson continues to deputise.
All in all Preston are a sound all-round side, with two or three outstanding performers in key positions, and given a continuance of the run of the ball they have apparently been having recently they seem likely to make Wolves go all the way. Earlier this term Everton lost 3-1 at Deepdale, Mayers scoring twice against his former colleagues. If Everton are not to concede the double to their visitors this afternoon they will have to improve considerably on recent home displays. Unless Everton quickly bring their victory-less home sequence to an end the date of the last home League win, September 14 will soon become as familiar to their followers as 1066 to schoolboys who swot away at history. As near as makes no difference it is six months since we last had the joy of hailing a League victory at Goodison. It is unnecessary to add that one is now long overdue. Everton; O’Neill; Sanders, Tansey; Rea,. Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Fielding, Harris (B). Preston; Else; Cunningham, Walton; Docherty, Martinson, O’Farrell, Mayers, Thompson, Finney, Baxter, Taylor.
THOMAS AGAIN ON THE TARGET –FINNEY, TOO
March 8, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Spectators Invades The Pitch At Goodison
Everton 4, Preston 2
Everton; O’Neill, goal; Sanders and Tansey, backs; Rea, Jones (captain), and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J.), Thomas, Hickson, Fielding, and Harris (B.), forwards. Preston North End; Else, goal; Cunningham and Walton, backs; Docherty, Mattinson, and O’Farrell, half-backs; Mayers, Thompson, Finney (captain), Baxter, and Taylor, forwards. Referee; Mr. T.H. Cooper (Bolton). Everton’s first shot came at the fourth minute a 25-yards Harris effort from Fielding which Else gathered at the foot of the post. Straight from his clearance Preston bore away and only good anticipation by O’Neill, who came out to narrow the angle prevented what would have been an almost certain goal for Thompson. Brian Harris had a great chance to put Everton in the lead at the seventh minute following a cute pass by Thomas, but he fired outside from eight yards range. Jimmy Harris’s had a couple of shots one on the mark and one “miles” too high. Everton were looking the more dangerous side with Jimmy Harris in the picture all the time, and Preston’s only threats had been from quick raids which speedily petered out. In one of these following a free kick against Meagan the home goal was under siege for a few seconds until Jones got the ball away. At the 15th minute Everton took the lead, through Thomas, after as nice a piece of combination work as one could wish to see. It started in the Everton half with Jimmy Harris winning a loose ball, selling the dummy to Baxter and then taking it up 30 yards before passing to Rea. Rea looked up saw Thomas to be well placed, and slipped the ball to him so accurately that he was left with a comparatively simple task. A couple of minutes later an equally grand bit of work by Preston would have produced the equalizer but for a magnificent save by O’Neill, and flung himself upwards to palm a header by Thompson over the bar. Considering the bitter cold and a swirling wind to say nothing of occasional flurries of light snow the standard of football was good, with Everton still enjoying most of the attack. Finney was playing deep with Thompson taking on the role of main spearhead. Docherty had also needed the trainer’s assistance at moment earlier. The Preston goal was lucky to escape when the ball hovered around the penalty spot, for fully a minute and shots by Hickson and Thomas struck defenders. Everton also had a fright when O’Neill got his finger tips to a centre from the inside right position by Finney and just deflected it off the head of Thompson. Hickson was heavily brought down again following a double challenge by Mattinson and Docherty. So far we seen nothing of Mayers the former Everton winger, who had not had a pass worth mentioning. Everton were still on top, and Mattinson was spoken to for the second time, following a foul on Jimmy Harris. From the free kick Mattinson misjudged the ball and Hickson hooked it over the bar from four yards.
Everton’s defenders were giving Finney no rope. They lined up one behind the other when the Preston skipper tried to turn on his trickery and usually Finney fell a victim to one or the other. A fierce Hickson drive flashed across the face of goal. the game was stopped for a couple of minutes just before half-time after Docherty had gone into a fierce tackle with Tansey midway inside Preston’s half. Both players collapsed but whereas Tansey quickly recovered Docherty had to be carried off. Docherty was the offender, but that was no excuse for the misguided people who cheered when the stretcher was called for and also when the player was taken off. When the game was resume with a free kick to Everton which led to a corner the home side went two up. Jimmy Harris’s flag kick was missed by Else and went on to Brian Harris, beyond the far post. He pulled it back to Thomas who had his back to the goal but quickly swiveled round and hooked it in from three yards.
Docherty, who had been attended to in the trainers box, now ran on to the field during the time added on for stoppages, and was at once spoken to by the referee presumably for coming on without permission. The referee could have done with showing a firmer hand in general. A lot had been going on which we could have well done without. At the 48th minute –play having gone on owing to the stoppages, Finney was going through when he was challenged by three Everton men and in the mix up was brought down from behind by Jones. There can be no doubt about a penalty, and Finney scored from the spot. Just before half-time a respectably dressed youth ran on to the field towards Mattinson, who had earlier been spoken to for tackles on Hickson. Before he could get to him, however, the intruder changed his mind, and ran away but was held by one arm by Else. When he broke away he was tackled rugby fashion by Docherty and was led off by two policemen.
Half-time; Everton 2, Preston North End 1
The wind now much stronger was at Everton’s backs and driving show made the conditions still more difficult. Everton still continued the better side and at the 53rd minute Thomas completed his hat trick, thanks to the helpful co-operation of Hickson, who held the ball before providing a through pass. Although challenged Thomas beat off his man and scored with a fine shot. Jimmy Harris was them spoken to for a foul on Taylor but Everton were soon back at the Preston penalty area and Hickson, after pulling one good effort into the side netting was yards over the bar, with a header which might easily have brought another goal. Everton claimed a penalty when Walton brought down Thomas, only for the referee to wave their protests aside. It must have been a very close thing. Hickson shot wide with a good chance after smart work by Brian Harris. Thomas scored for Everton 83 mins. 87 minutes Baxter scored for Preston. Official attendance 43,291.
DONOVAN SAYS THAT WHILE HE FULLY AGREES THAT A PLAYER SHOULD PREPARE FOR THE DAY WHEN HIS PLAYING DAYS ARE OVER-
March 8, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Youngsters Can’t Mix Business and Soccer
By Don Donovan
There has been much discussion recently as to whether a professional footballer should take steps in safeguarding his futures by having a job or business during his football career. I believe football is a full time occupation, and to keep at the top a player must give all his time to it. allowances must be made if a player is suffering from loss of form, as it happens to everyone from time to time, but find a player who is running a business and is not playing up to standard, and in nine cases out of ten you will discover he is worried about his business interests. For a young footballer, the wages and bonuses should be sufficient for him and his family without him getting tied down to a shop or a similar part time job which only piles on mental work as well as physical. That is mainly why I am against players taking up other forms of employment while they are still in their soccer career. There is no one more in agreement than that a footballer should prepare for the end of his soccer career, but I think he should carry it out during the close season when his soccer will not suffer be comparison. When a player is preparing for the security of his and his family’s future I wish him luck. On the other hand I consider it quite wrong for a player in his early 20’s to start thinking of opening a business because he cannot hope to do either himself or his team justice. He will find himself in the reserves and his manager is quite entitled to say; “You can have your job or you can have soccer, but you cannot have the best of both worlds.”
Man And A Half
He should have to be a man and a half to be able to concentrated sufficiently enough on both to make a real success of either. Mind you; there is always the exception. There are some who have successfully combined business and football. Len Shackleton for instance of Sunderland and England fame and our former colleague Jimmy Glazzard. In Jimmy’s case his wife ran a greengrocery business in Huddersfield, leaving him to concentrate fully on his business –football. I hear that Jimmy has now retired from soccer and that the greengrocery business is thriving. However, I have heard of players having to forego the thought of a second income due to the worries of trying to do both well enough to satisfy everybody. Many may think otherwise, but in my view it doesn’t pay to have too many irons in the fire where football is concerned. It is too much of a full time job to fiddle around with. If you are going to do anything at all you might as well do it properly. That certainly applies to football.
Change of Routine
With only two months to go before the end of the football season, many clubs involving in relegation or promotion battles find it difficult to keep their players in the best condition. Very often at this period of a season players are apt to lose that zip. In an effort to keep them toned up it is considered a good thing for a club to indulge in a change of routine or training for the remaining matches. With this in mind many Everton players on their day off, enjoy an afternoon at the local golf course. Many supporters have mixed views regarding golf as a stimulant for professional footballers. Personally I couldn’t think of anything better. Not only is it a form of training but it also has the effect of relaxing one, both physically and mentally from the routine and vigour of soccer. Occasionally the club includes a day’s golf in the training schedule and believe me, the players thoroughly lap up this break. We have contests and friendly arguments which tend to take us away, from the thoughts of soccer and its flight for points of bonuses. I am a firm believer in this business of relaxation.
CHESTERFIELD RES V EVERTON RES
March 8, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Chesterfield Res; Davey, goal; Seemley and Sears, backs; Whitehurst, Allison, and Galley, half-backs; Tomlinson, McGall, Kelly, Smith and Cunliffe, forwards. Everton Res; Dunlop, goal; Birch and Hillsdon, backs; Donovan, Labone, and King, half-backs; Godfrey, Temple, Llewellyn, Ashworth and Williams, forwards. Referee; Mr. I. Smith (Stone-on-Trent). Everton were soon on the attack but Chesterfield should have scored when Kelly put across a perfect low centre with Donovan beaten Cunliffe missed the ball completely. A defensive slip let Temple through but he hooked his shot wide of the upright. Everton went ahead after 18 minutes through Williams, who hammered the ball home following a rebound. Llewellyn went through but Whitehurst took the ball off his toes as he was poised to shoot. Visibility became bad as a heavy snowstorm swept the pitch, Galley was taken off with an injured leg, but Chesterfield narrowly failed to equalize when Tomlinson missed an easy chance.
Half-time; Chesterfield Res nil, Everton Res 1.
Everton “B” v. Burnley “B”
After 15 minutes Birch gave Everton the lead. Ten minutes later Denham equalized. Just before the interval Barton made a good run and finished with a shot that put Everton in front again. Half-time; Everton “B” 2, Burnley “B” 1.
THE ANSWER IS ONE-FIELDING
March 10, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 4, Preston N.E 2
Less than a fortnight ago Everton had not won for so long we despaired of their ever winning again. Yet there they are this bright (I hope) Monday morning with consecutive victories against Burnley and Preston North End, both oddly, clubs linked with the former Everton managers Cliff Britton. As if that were not enough Everton have collected no fewer than six goals in two matches –something we only dare dream. To the inevitable question “How has it been done” one can only answer one word – Fielding. Cliff Britton reign at Everton was attenuated by levers of criticism from Mr. Higgins of Crosby every time Fielding was left out. My used to argue a “Youth get a hard-won victory “but then it will be defeat. And how right he was-and is. The new regime at Goodison Park, it seems have also underestimated the star men, whose period of rest, if this latest performance is anything to go by – has done him enormous good. Everton through all their failures lacked the experience and knowledge of an inside forward who could boss the line. Fielding’s delayed-action passes against Preston did the damage, though young Eddie Thomas (whose praises I have always song) got the four goals by which victory was assured. When Everton make their next sighing I hope they will bring here a player of Fielding’s capacity and general style. There is no doubt the club have the go-ahead young men, in their attack, but they can never be truly effective unless some old hand like Fielding is there to prompt them and show them the right way. Every really good team have a Major-General at inside forward. It took many defeats and then these two heartening Everton victories to prove that Fielding or his like, is indispensable. What else helped Everton to beat the Wolves nearest challengers” I think a two-prolonged plan to stop Finney – and even then none could prevent that gentlemanly player showing us his artistry notably in the way he edged, at speed and with the outside of his foot, passes which unerringly found their way to the right spot. But Finney except on one occasion – when he earned a penalty kick –was never through in the way he had been at the same ground a year ago. The explanation I think was that Everton had taken steps to make his central position as untenable as it can often be when he is a winger. Else tried hard to find the master with kicks from hand, of goal kicks, but Rea, who became almost a second centre-half for so much of the game, was never far from his captain and in that way Finney nearly always found himself out numbered. Everton’s tackling was keen and fats, too. I have never seen Tom Jones to better advantage on the ground or in the air. The odds against him after one previous experience against Finney were heavy indeed.
A Hard Match
Hickson played very well too. It is no exaggeration to say that he might have scored twice, if not thrice. Thomas whose positional sense and flair for putting the ball into the net was confirmed in the best of ways, was also unfortunate not to get at least one other, which would have enabled him to equal Tom Eglingtons five against Doncaster two seasons ago. It was a hard match, made harder by snow showers the better cold, by a wind which swirled the ball considerably and by fierce tackling. I rate Tansey the Everton back, as lucky to come off so well in his clash against the Preston and Scottish half-back, Docherty. In the event Docherty was carried by stretcher to the touchline and came back, about three minutes later, in good order again. The crowd –did not like Docherty (did the referee take his name?) who earlier joined with goalkeeper Else and a constable in catching the interloper who made his way on the pitch with the light of battle in his eye. Mattinson, the Preston centre half, was already in the crowd’s bad books after a couple of fouls on Hickson. It was a pity extraneous matters were allowed to intrude on the game itself on a day of Everton triumph. Preston with Finney penalty (was it Jones or Tansey who brought him down from behind?) And a late goal from Baxter came out rather well at 4-2. Derek Mayers had one of those days, when he could do nothing right and Thompson who usually plays so well in combined operations with Finney, made far too many inaccurate passes to be judged even reasonably successful.
O’Neill in the Everton goal made many sure catches. His best save was point-blank from Thompson before the first goal; Brian Harris miss immediately afterwards suggested that we were in for yet another 90 minutes of chances missing. Then Harris J, and Rea manufactured success for Thomas, Rea’s cute pass when everyone must have through he was about to shoot was a perfect one. Else made a magnificent catch of a Fielding shot before Docherty and Tansey collided. Two minutes before the interval and after a corner on the right Brian Harris offered Thomas a second chance with he took with a neat shot. Right on the interval Finney, fouled when sailing through, scored from the penalty spot. Thomas hooked the ball home for goal number three nearly got a fourth, then took his fourth goal after Rea and Fielding had done the spade work. Rea’s contribution in attack and defence was excellent. By his general goal Thomas proves that he can stay the full ninety minutes and still get goals where others can’t. Baxter’s late goal was to come, but Everton were good deserving winners. Additional to Fielding’s help was the nature of the ground –so much firmer and therefore more acceptable to the lighter-ball Everton players. And now one word in prospect. The Football Writers Association proposes to present posthumously statuettes (such as they present every year to the Footballer of the Year) to dependents of some Manchester United victims of the Munich crash. The National Institute of Journalists I understand. I Understand propose to erect a stained-glass window in the newspapers Church (St. Brides) as memorial to the journalists who lost their lives.
CHESTERFIELD RES 1, EVERTON RES 2
March 10, 1958The Liverpool Daily Post
Both teams had difficulty in mastering the soft slippery pitch. With a snow-storm raging for most of the match the conditions were mainly to blame for the poor standard of play. Chesterfield never looked like winning and when left half Galley was carried off with an injured leg just after half time it was the final straw. The Everton defence were quick in the tackle and never gave the home forwards a chance to get moving. Everton made clever use of the wings where the pitch was in better conditions –and it brought success. Everton’s team –Dunlop; Birch, Hillsdon; Donovan, Labone, King; Godfrey, Temple, Llewellyn, Williams.
EVERTON’S BEST DISPLAY FOR MANY A LONG DAY
March 10, 1958, The Liverpool Echo
Football abounds with examples of unexpected reversals of current form knocking preconceived notions sideways and confirming the old saying that the only certain thing about soccer is its perpetual uncertainly. It was so at Goodison Park in the game between Everton and Preston, when Everton looked most like the team challenging for top-four honours and Preston resembled one striving to keep away from the danger zone. At last that long overdue home victory was chalked up and in a manner which brooked of no argument. Indeed had it not been for their squandering of some simple chances and a number of first-class saves by the Preston goalkeeper, the Blues would have won by double the margin. I have been saying for several weeks that Everton surely could not go on manufacturing so many scoring chances and keep missing them with the frustrating frequency which has characterized them in the last few months. I admit that my faith was beginning to be shaken a bit but now, thank goodness the ice has been broken, even if only one man so far has been able to cash in to any extent. Sooner or later one or two others must do likewise, and when that happens the goals tally is going to show a welcome improvement. The man who has proved latterly that he knows where the goal lies and had the ability to put the ball into it is Eddie Thomas, whose four against Preston was the first hat-trick by any Everton player in First Division football since Harry Catterick got one over seven years ago. Thomas had to thank his colleagues for their help. His first goal came from a beautiful pass by Rea the second from a Brian Harris contribution following a corner and the third from a choice offering by Dave Hickson.
Those who read this column regularly know I have consistently maintained that Hickson is a better craftsman and more subtle player that many people –some in positions of authority –give him credit for. To my mind Hickson proved that once more against Preston. Some of his touches were delightful if his colleagues had occasionally been a little quicker to anticipate Hickson’s moves. Everton’s goal would have been augmented. Hickson also took much rough treatment without attempting to retaliate. Preston surprised me why the ruggedness of their defence, as well as its uncertainty and white one could understand there being no great sympathy for Docherty after his tackle on Tansey that was no excuse for the brute of a cheer which went up when he was carried off. True it came only from an exceedingly small section, but it was unsporting and vindictive. Two wrongs never make a right, though you cannot hammer that fact into the heads of same ultra-partisan folk no matter how you try. As I expressed surprise at the dropping of Dunlop in favour of O’Neill ten days ago, let me now hasten to pay tribute to the latter for a display in keeping with the form he showed when automatic choice a few seasons ago. Three of his saves in the first half were magnificent and though he had a much easier afternoon than Else, in the Preston goal, he did all he was called upon to do with confidence agility and coolness.
Wing Halves Better
Another pleasing aspect of Everton’s showing was the much improved work of the wing halves, Rea was outstanding with Meagan not very far behind and these two, using the ball admirably on the vast majority of occasions, were a vital link in the victory chain. Both as I have stressed before are better when the going is reasonably firm and it is passable to judge reasonably accurately what the ball will do. Now that the remainder of the season is likely to provide firmer pitches I think we can anticipate these two young players recapturing their early season form. There is a big difference between the styles of Jimmy Harris and Fielding one fast, direct and exceedingly forceful; the other crafty and cunning. Both were in splendid form, and I rate Fielding’s contribution one of the foundation stories of Everton’s success. His use of the ball and defence-spitting passes stood out, and only two superb saves by Else prevented the veteran getting his name on the scoring list.
Worst This Season
Preston were nothing like what most folk had expected. Neither the relented Finney nor the more direct and speedier Thompson could get the better of Jones, and the winter made no headway against Everton’s quick-tackling backs. On that showing Mayers is a long way from being what he has been cracked up to be. In that is his best Everton need have no regrets at parting. But one display is no foundation on which to judge anybody. Even Finney on Saturday looked poor, fiddling and finessing and getting nowhere yet few folk would be prepared to under-estimate Finney on that account. Mr. Cliff Britton told me it was his team’s worst showing this season. I can believe it. They would not be where they are in the table if it was a fair sample of their capabilities. Their altitude when Baxter got their second goal from an impossible angle a few minutes from the end seemed to indicate that Preston’s players themselves were fed-up with their own most disappointing exhibition. At any case, the goal was recanted without the slightest show of pleasure and not a solitary visiting player went over to congratulate Baxter on a goal when had as good as shy of those that had proceeded it.
ANOTHER BLOT ON OUR REPUTATION
March 10, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
While not wishing to magnify the incident at Goodison in which a young man invaded the pitch and tried to strike a Preston player it is obvious official cognizance must be taken of it. Everton cannot be blamed but may have to bear the burden of a ticking-off from the F.A, who will probably issue the posting of warning notices. The reputation of Merseyside has been besmirched enough by a small minority without incidents of this nature adding further fuel to the fire of controversy. I understand that Harry Mattinson the Preston player “attacked” declined to bring any charge against the youth who expressed his regret. The sooner the whole thing is forgotten the better said Mr. Cliff Britton, Preston’s Manager.
Mr. R.E Searle Everton’s chairman declined to make any statement beyond deprecating the incident and saying it would probably be discussed at the next board meeting.
AS YOU SEE IT
March 11, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
70 Years An Everton Supporter
Sir-It was with great interest I read my old friend Mr. Bridson’s memories of the early days of Everton F.C. He and I with our departed friend Alex Lomax spent many happy hours together on the shareholders stand but distance prevents me making many appearance now. Mr. Bridson may be surprised to learn I am three years older than him. My first attendance at Anfield Road was about the end of 1887 when the head-master of my school took myself and another boy to see Everton v. Rawtenstall. My boy companion was not interested, but I was with the happy result I was taken to more games there. On leaving school in March 1890 I became a regular and a few years later a shareholder. I was present at the farcical final at Fallowfield, indeed I have been present at the five finals the club have played. One of my most vivid memories is the first visit of Queens Park when I ran all the way from Water Street to be in time for the kick-off. It was an uphill job, but in these days I thought the result was worth the journey. We are proud of the club’s floodlighting but I wonder how many can remember the matches played by Wells lights more than fifty years ago. They played several games but I can only call to mind one opposing side viz Aftercliffe. I am sure my friend like myself could fill columns with memories of bygone game and players. The game has changed and in my opinion very few present day players have the ball control of their predecessors. Modern referees are not strict enough. A lot of the miscalled hard tackling, double footed sliding stuff is dangerous and would have been penalized by men like John Lewis, Barker, and Nunnesley. Its disappearance would improve the standard of play. J. Alex Davis, Lynton, Nessina Grove, Crewe.
March 11, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s one doubt, concerning Jimmy Tansey’s bruised leg, is likely to be resolved in the next few days and the team to visit West Bromwich Albion on Saturday seems certain to be that which has won the last two matches.
Ex-Everton –Jackie Grant, formerly of Everton has been Rochdale’s most consistent defender all season, and has appeared in every game to date.
March 12, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
With Tansey having recovered from the leg injury sustained against Preston, Everton will field an unchanged side for the third successive game when they visit West Bromwich Albion on Saturday; O’Neill; Sanders, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J.), Thomas, Hickson, Fielding, Harris (B.).
EVERTON IMPROVING THEIR FLOODLIGHTING SYSTEM
March 13, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s floodlighting system, already reckoned among the best in the country, has been improved considerably since last time it was used, and supporters will have an opportunity of seeing the new installation in action, next week. Hitherto each of the four pylons carried 36 lamps. Now 20 extra ones have been added to each tower, giving more than 50 per cent additional power. The cost of the improvement has been very little as provision was wisely made when the installation was first erected, for any subsequent increase. The platform on which the lights are housed was built from the start to accommodate 56 lamps, so that all that has been necessary has been to fix the additional ones to the existing frame. Even with the 36 lamps at each corner which have hitherto suffered the illumination was first class on clear nights. Now it should be much better, and as near perfection as artificial light ever can be compared with natural conditions. Everton’s second-half of the season programme of floodlit games should have been ushered in a fortnight ago with a visit from Fortune F.C, a leading Dutch team; but that had to be postponed owing to the weather. Now they start instead with a visit next Wednesday evening kick-off 7 o’clock from Shamrock Rovers, the club with whom they had very friendly relations ever since they signed Peter Farrell and Tommy Eglington 12 years ago. Everton played Shamrock Rovers in Dublin last summer and promised to give the Irish club a return date at Goodison at the easiest convenient opportunity.
This is not the Rovers first visit to Goodison. They were there on December 27, 1947, in fulfillment of another promise by Everton arising out of the signing of Farrell and Eglington. On that occasion the home side had something of a field day, winning 7-0; Jock Dodds got four of their goals and Fielding two. Another Everton floodlit fixture which has also been arranged is the semi-final of the Liverpool Senior Cup against Liverpool. This takes place on Tuesday evening March 23 (seven o’clock). Whether both clubs will be able to turn out full first teams remains to be seen near the time, but if they can do so there should be a big crowd to see them in action. When the pair met earlier this season in the Liverpool F.A Jubilee Cup game, which inaugurated the Goodison floodlighting programme the attendance of 58,771 was adequate proof that any “Liverton” derby game will pull in fervent Merseyside soccer enthusiasts to a very lucrative tune. Reserved tickets for both these floodlit games are available from the Everton offices at 6s.
THIS WILL GIVE MEASURE OF THE BLUES’ REVIVAL
March 14, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
The real measure of Everton’s recent revival will be tested tomorrow against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns where the Midlanders have suffered only one defeat this season. Four clubs have come away from there with a point, however and if Everton can do likewise it would be a recommendable performance. If they play as well as they did against Preston North End they should have a fair chance, but they too like Liverpool could do with somebody besides Thomas to have the onus of goal scoring. Thomas has secured nine of the last ten League goal’s credited to the Blues. Jimmy Harris got the other and still retains the distinction of being the season’s leading marksman though Thomas with eleven to his name is now only one behind. The return of Wally Fielding has had a big effect on the balance of the forward line and now drier grounds are likely to be met more often than in recent months. Everton may well regain some of their early season sparkle.
Though Albion seem to have no chance of overtaking Wolves in the championship race, for they are now eight points behind for the same number of games they have every incentive to keep pegging away in case the Molineux lads slip up during the runs in. There is also the sour of talent money for a place in the first four. Despite injuries to two of their most consistent players right half Setters and outside right Griffin, the latter of whom will be for the next of the season with a fractured leg, Albion have been playing excellent football. Their defence has had an occasional off day but on the whole has been extremely reliable while the attack is among the most dangerous in the country, with consistent scorers in all three inside forward berth. Robson, Allen, and Kevan between them total 54 goals, the best comparable return for any senior side, though Thompson and Finney of Preston, can each beat the individual contributions of the Albion men. Everton have a tough job, but will not be disgraced if they come up to last week’s standard. Everton; O’Neill; Sanders, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J.), Thomas, Hickson, Fielding, Harris (B.).
BIRCH CONSIDER OFFERS
March 14, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Ken Birch, Everton’s reserve right half, left Liverpool today to interview Southampton F.C, officials who have come to terms for his transfer. Birch, aged 24 has made 45 first team appearances for Everton since making his debut two years ago. The final decision rests with the player, who wants to know what Southampton offer regarding accommodation.
It is not often a player scores more goals in away games in a season than he does in home matches, and less frequent still when his appearances are evenly divided between home and away outing that the ratio is six away goals to each one of home. Yet that is what Jock Dodds did for Everton ten years ago. Out of 28 first team appearances that season in league and Cup, the Scottish international centre forward scored 12 goals away and only two at Goodison Park. On two occasions he got an away hat-trick one against Wolves in February who at the time were running strongly for the championship and another shortly afterwards against Huddersfield Town. He augmented his meagre home total with four in a friendly against Shamrock Rovers.
NOW EVERTON COMPLETE THEIR SHADOW ELEVEN
March 15, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Ken Birch Gone To Southampton For £6,000
By Leslie Edwards
Everton half-back, Ken Birch, is latest of a long list of Everton players to leave. This red-haired, likeable half-back went to Southampton yesterday at a fee of £6,000. He makes his debut at Nottingham today. Though Birch has never quite justified his promise –he looked to have the making of a very strong competent half-back and he possessed a big shot – it is more than likely that he will develop well. His career at Everton has been a succession of ins and outs and none can really settle to his game in those circumstances. Birch is one of a great number of Everton players who have left within the last twelve months indeed one can name a team of such players; Leyland, (Blackburn Rovers) Moore (Tranmere Rovers), Sutherland (Chesterfield), Birch (Southampton), Woods (Blackburn Rovers), Farrell (Tranmere Rovers), Mayers (Preston North End), Farrell (Preston North End), Gauld (Plymouth A), Parker (Bury), and Eglington (Tranmere Rovers). And if this team requires a manager there is always Cliff Britton (Preston North End) to take charge.
Everton go to the Hawthorns hoping to bring off a hat-trick, the first two winning legs of which were at Burnley and a week ago against Preston at Goodison Park. Fieldings return may produce results again, but any game at the Albion ground must be a tough one and although Kennedy the Albion centre half is still suffering from eyeties and Barlow takes over in that place, Albion seem to me to have all the advantages. Everton; O’Neill; Sanders, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J.), Thomas, Hickson, Fielding, Harris (B.). West Bromwich Albion; Sanders; Howe, Williams (S), Barlow, Drury, Whitehouse, Robson, Allen, Kevan, and Horobin.
ROBSON, KEVAN, AND ALLEN ON GOAL TRAIL
March 15, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
West Bromwich Albion 4, Everton nil
West Bromwich Albion; Sanders (J.), goal; Howe and Williams, backs; Dudley, Barlow (Captain)and Drury, half-backs; Whitehouse, Robson, Allen, Kevan, and Horobin, forwards. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Sanders (A.), and Tansey, backs; Rea, Jones (captain), and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J.), Thomas, Hickson, Fielding, and Harris (B.), forwards. Referee; Mr. R.H. Windle (Chesterfield). Cricket, was well represented for the England captain, Peter May, and England opening batsman, Peter Richardson along with the former Lancashire and England player George Duckworth watched the game. The Albion soon into their stride and within a few minutes Robson tested O’Neill with a fast drive after receiving a lovely pass from Allen. Within a minute or two the Midlanders had the ball in the Everton net, but a goal was disallowed. It was Kevan who put it there, but he was either offside or had committed a foul. It showed, however, that West Brom were out for an early goal, and the Everton defence had to put in some work to keep their goal intact. When Howe misjudged the flight of a ball it let in Brian Harris. He pulled the ball back to Fielding who shot wildly and wide. Having weathered the early Albion storm Everton came into the game as an attacking force and Jim Sanders had to make a good save from a fiery Fielding drive. Hickson had one or two rare tussles with Barlow but up to this point the Albion had been much the more threatening side. They moved very quickly and it was a case of five forwards up all the time. Such tactics threw a lot of weight on the Everton defence and at the 15th minute Robson scored for the Albion, after fine work by Dudley and Allen, the last named’s final pass putting the scorer in a perfect position. Robson took the chance well and left O’Neill with no chance. Fielding was doing grand work with his far flung passes to either wing, but there was a little too much fiddling in front of goal. Sanders (J.) had to make one save from Thomas and when Fielding’s far flung pass to Jim Harris was returned into the goalmouth Brian Harris misjudged the flight and what looked to be a promising situation for Everton came to nought. Straight from the clearance two passes put Kevan on the warpath again but he had his shot blocked for a corner. Allen was disappointed when he saw his shot pass outside and then Thomas simply because he followed up the half chance was able to beat Barlow and push the ball over to Hickson. Trying to get it further over to Jimmy Harris the centre forward did not put enough beef behind it.
Hickson Spoken To
Hickson was spoken to by the referee for a foul on Barlow and the Albion won a corner. The Everton goal had a remarkably escape when Kevan headed off to the post from Heroin’s centre. Most times the ball would have gone in but this time it came back into play and O’Neill was able to gain possession and clear. Fielding was as good as any man on the field. He saw an eye for an opening and his long ball out to Jim Harris saw the Everton winger slap in an angular shot which Sanders saved. There was another hot scrimmage in front of the Everton goal and it was more by good luck than good management that the defence survived. Hickson was hurt when he took a hard clearance by Howe on the body, but after attention was able to resume. With only seconds left of the first half, Kevan picking up a long ball through the middle, seemed to be yards offside but was allowed to run on and push the ball past O’Neill. I think everyone agreed that Kevan was two or three yards offside.
Half-time; West Brom A 2, Everton nil.
Everton were more menacing during the first 10 minutes of the second half and Jimmy Harris hit the side netting after Hickson had beaten Barlow. Then Fielding with a lob shot, hit the crossbar, the ball being turned over the bar by Sanders. Barlow and Hickson had several hectic duels and once the West Bromwich man came under the ban of the referee. It seemed as though the Albion captain had gone straight into Hickson and knocked him flying.
Fielding hurt an ankle and was incapacitated for a few moments but he was soon back helping Everton test the West Brom defence. O’Neill who had made several excellent saved, took rather an easy one from Drury. Everton were undoubtedly putting up a fight and Jim Harris following good work by Thomas and Hickson, had his shot luckily blocked. There was still always a threat from this fast-moving Albion attack, and Kevan headed over. Wielding moved out to the right wing he offered Brian Harris a chance which the left winger took on the volley to steer the ball outside. We had not seen a lot of Allen, but he had the chance of the match when Horobin centred and it seemed all the world to a pinch of fails that he would mark up goal number three, but to everyone’s surprise he put the ball wide. The Albion had jumped back into their attacking form and O’Neill had to make one or two saves. Everton’s form this half had been much better and when Fielding tried a shot he had it slightly deflected. He also put one just outside the upright. When O’Neill pulled the ball down from just below the crossbar Kevan nipped in and put the ball over from a few yards out.
The Albion had now got back on top and a Barlow free kick should have been converted by Kevan who missed from a few yards out. Allen had a shot blocked and Rea suffered a similar fate. There was not the goal thrust about the Everton attack that there was about Albion but when Sanders (A.) brought down Robson I thought the verdict of a penalty rather harsh. It seemed more like a case of obstruction to me. However it gave Allen the opportunity to score from the penalty spot at the 81st minute. Some of Everton’s midfield play was quite good, but there will have to be more power in their attack. Four minutes from the end a centre by Horobin was dropped by O’Neill and Kevan had the ball in the net in a flash. Final; West Bromwich Albion 4, Everton nil.
SOCCER’S LOST ART-GOALSCORING
March 15, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
By Don Donovan
It was really good to hear, when coming back from Chesterfield with the reserves that the first team had gained their first League win at home for a long time, and in such a convincing manner too. Eddie Thomas scorer of four goals has certainly set the supporters tongues wagging. Not only a schemer which most people considered was his natural game, but lately he has been producing the goals in the first team which were so often the feature of his play in the reserves. The Everton team of late have been cast as a side with good approach work and the ability to retain possession but the end product, goals has been sadly lacking. It has been said that if we had scored all the goals we have created the team would be way up the top of the ladder, but that’s a fault with the majority of teams. It’s only recently that the Continent’s have learn that it’s goals that win matches and not all the finery indulged in midfield.
Naturally the ideal pattern would be to continue stylish soccer with the effectiveness of goals, goals and more goals, a commodity the customer never fires of. I have often heard it sad that present-day football has lost much by going all out for speed and in doing so players have lost the art of goal scoring. There may be something in this. When you think back to the days of Dixie Dean and Ted Drake. It is hard to find the players who can be likened to them today. I wouldn’t go as far to say that all players have lost the art of goalscoring as Eddie Thomas proved last Saturday. But I think we are inclined to make that extra pass when we should be shooting for goal. As I’ve said above the Continental footballers were at one time the main offenders. Their ability both collectively and individually, was wonderful but they lacked the punch to finish off their moves.
To my mind the country which brought about the change amongst Continental teams was Hungary. They came to this country, and showed us soccer which was the talk and envy of every nation on the Continent. They hadn’t forsaked their thrilling pattern weaving but they had learned how to shoot and take half chances. My next topic concerns the players who supplies his other forwards with the defence splitting passes. He in the general of the attack, exploiting the weaknesses in opposing defences. Through the years we’ve had men like Peter Docherty, Wilf Mannion, and Alec Stevenson to mention a few. They paved the way for their team mates making sure the forward line clicked. They had the knack of being able to read the game, and in so doing turn defence into attack. They were great players who possessed the quality which made them personalities on and off the field. Many a First Division club would gave a lot to possess an inside forward of their calbre today. They were the very essence of a team. It is a well known fact that a team revolves around the ability of its inside forwards and wing-halves.
EVERTON RES V BURY RES
March 15, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Res;- Dunlop, goal; Parkes and Hillsdon, backs; Donovan, Labone, and King, half-backs; B. Godfrey, Temple, Llewellyn, Ashworth, and Williams, forwards. Bury Res;- McLaren, goal; Gallacher, and Howscroft, backs; May, Bunner, and Daniel, half-backs; Clarke, Reid, Darbyshire, Neill, Mercer, forwards. Referee; Mr. S.A. Leeding (Wilehall, Staffs). Having the advantage of the sun and a strong wind, Bury harassed the Everton defence for several minutes without troubling Dunlop. After Temple had shot over the bar Everton gained two quick corners but Bury were the more impressive side. The visitors almost scored when Dunlop punched over the bar from Reid, while Darbyshire drove against the goalkeeper’s legs. Williams shot across the face of the Bury goal and Godfrey placed a corner kick on to the Bury crossbar. The Everton goal had a let-off when Reid shot against an upright but the ball rebounded into Dunlop’s hands. Half-time; Everton res nil, Bury Res nil.
THE ALBION STEAM ROLLER TREATMENT
March 17, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
West Bromwich Albion 4, Everton 0
A week ago Everton delighted their supporters with four goals. At the Hawthorns they had four goals scored against them, and it could have been more. This high-powered Albion have the power of a steamroller, and had they taken all their chances they could have augmented their total. One goal perhaps, or even two, were ‘doubtful, for I thought the penalty against Sanders converted by Allen was rather a harsh decision. It seemed more a case of obstruction. Kevan’s first goal was scored from a doubtful position. However, that is by the way, It did not make any difference, for the Albion always seemed to be sailing to victory. There was one spell –the first ten minutes of the second half –when Everton looked threatening, but their punch-lacking forwards were not strong enough. True, Fielding hit the bar, but against that both Kevan and Allen missed “sitters.”
Never Gave Up
Everton never gave up the fight. They struggled to the end, and some of their midfield play was the equal of that of their opponents but West Bromwich countered that by their five-point attack and their speed and progressiveness. In Kevan, Albion have a power of immense statue and a might shot. He has taken over the role of leadership from Allen, who nowadays seems to be a maker, rather than a taker of goals. Everton were slow in taking chances. They made several excellent openings and then through slowness failed to bring about the downfall of the Albion defence. One of the best forwards on the field was Fielding. If ever a man did everything to help his co-forwards it was he. He made many beautiful crossfield passes but against the sturdy tackling of the Albion defence Everton forwards rarely got an opportunity to test their skill.
The tussles between Hickson and Barlow were sometimes lover-reboust, and both had their names taken. Barlow, as a centre-half, was not quite the prophet he can be on the wing, but he was still very capable. I could hardly blame O’Neill with perhaps one exception, and that was the last goal of all when he seemed to drop the ball and Kevan was there ready to take the opening. The first goal came from Robson. It was in the nature of a gift for Allen’s pass put him in a position from which he could hardly miss. Then Kevan came along with his goal. I wish I could tell of Everton goals. They played some good football in midfield, but they must do more than that. Until a sharp-shooter or two can be found. Everton are going to have a stiffish time. They know that they have weaknesses and are trying to remedy them.
EVERTON RES 1, BURY RES 1
March 17, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Bury almost paid the full penalty for wasting chances in a poor game at Goodison Park apart from two brief spells in each half the visitors were in command, though their task was rendered easier by Everton’s inaccurate passing. Everton seemed set for an undeserved win until Mercer atoned for missing a similar chance by neutralizing Temple’s seventy-fifth minute header, Everton equalized Bury only at half-back where Donovan and King played strong attacking roles, while centre-half Labone dominated the middle. Outside left Williams was the best home forward. Everton team; Dunlop; Parkes, Hillsdon; Donovan, Labone, King, B. Godfrey, Temple, Llewellyn, Ashworth, Williams.
EVERTON FRONT LINE FAILINGS
March 17, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
After winning two games in encouraging style – Burnley and Preston North End – Everton came a purler at the Hawthorns, being whipped by West Bromwich Albion from start to finish. I thought the tide had turned, but Everton lapsed into their old style, playing good football at times but lacking that final finish which-means the difference between victory and defeat. While I did not anticipate an Everton win I did expect them to be so thoroughly defeated. W.B.A are one of the strongest teams in the Division, in fact I rate them higher than the League leaders, Wolverhampton Wanderers. They play, high-covered football at a great pace I doubt the validity of two of their goals. I have not tried to make excuses for Everton’s defeat for they were well and truly trounced and the score does not give a true story of the Albion’s victory. It could have been much more convincing. That penalty award against Sanders seemed to me to be rather harsh. Sanders played the ball and Robson fell over his outstretched leg. Then there was that first Kevan’s goal. I am emphatic that he was yards offside when Allen flung the ball up to him but I give him credit for playing to the whistle and running nearly half the length of the field before beating O’Neill. Right from the start Albion got their teeth into the game and only for about ten minutes after the interval did they relax and lose their grip momentally. As a consequence Everton came more into the game making some good openings by nice football combination. But having done that they produced no goal threat when there should have been.
Not A New Fault
It is not a new fault with Everton, I have criticized them many times for this during the last few season. Their small attack fell easy victims to the stout and determined Albion defence and the only real trouble to goalkeeper Sanders was a job shot by Fielding which he pushed over after the ball had hit the bar. Some of Everton’s midfield play was quite as good as that of their opponents, but they were never the menace of the Albion, particularly Kevan a giant of a forward who thoroughly enjoys his football. Kevan is now the spearhead of the West Bromwich attack and I feared for Everton each and every time he got possession. His colleagues up to him to a man and he was constantly picking up the long ball up the middle and then crashing his way towards his opponents goal. He scored two. With all chances taken he could have made it five. While I would prefer Barlow a wing half he did a sound job at centre half where he had some rather robust duels with Hickson and both brought a word of warning from the referee.
Having sung the praises of Kevan cannot pass over Wally Fielding. In my view he was the best forward on the field. Fielding right throughout tried to bring his colleagues into the game with precision passes but this was an occasion when he was not supported. There was no power in the Everton front line. Fielding came nearest of all to scoring for Everton. But that one shot was as a drop in the ocean as compared to the shots fired at the Everton goal. O’Neill made some fine saves but the last goal brought off a fault. He dropped the ball from Horobin and Kevan was on the spot to snatch it into the net. That goal made no difference only that it gave the Albion a better goal average for West Bromwich were leading 3-0 at the time with only a minute or two to go. For quite a time the Everton defence held out against heavy pressure but looking at the game without bias it could easily be seen that it was only a matter of time before this five point forward line would break down the opposition. Robson’s goal was made for him by Allen –a ball on the plate as it were. There were other such openings, but they were not taken up. Many shots were either blocked or stopped with an outstretched foot. Jones had a good game for Everton for he had a difficult task to hold down the middle with such as Kevan, Allen and Robson always bearing down on him. He stood to his guns and got sound assistance from his colleagues but the Albion were much too powerful to quite.
EVERTON’S REMARKABLE FLOODLIT ATTENDANCES
March 18, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
The visit of Shamrock Rovers to Goodison Park tomorrow in a floodlit friendly match affords Merseyside football enthusiasts an opportunity of seeing one of the leading Eire teams in action, and though there will be nothing at stake for Everton but prestige, the game is quite an attractive one. Already Everton must have knocked a substantial amount off the cost of their floodlighting installation for in the six main matches since the lights were first turned on last October they have had an aggregate attendance of 325,956, which averages 54,326 per game. As a conservative estimate the gross proceeds from these games must be well over £40,000, which is roughly what the floodlighting has cost. Everton, of course have not enriched themselves to anything like that extent, for two of the games were F.A Cup-ties in which the net proceeds are split three ways, and two were re-arranged League fixtures from which the visitors take a fifth of the receipts. Even so, it is already clear that Everton’s decision to go in for lights was both a wise and a lucrative one. It is now becoming increasingly obvious that lights are not a luxury, but a necessity, and that eventually all First and Second Division clubs will have them and probably most of the Third Divisions. As a matter of interest I outline below the attendances at the six principal floodlit matches so far staged at Goodison Park. The inaugural one, against Liverpool in the County F.A. Jubilee Cup, pulled in 58,771 spectators; the rearranged League game with Arsenal was watched by 54,345 people, and the friendly with Red Star of Yugoslavia by 32,460.
Blackpool’s visit also in a rearranged League game totaled 47,665, followed by 56,952 for the third round F.A. Cup replay against Sunderland. Then came the fourth round Cup match with Blackburn Rovers, who not without some misgivings, waived their objections and agreed to play under floodlights when the original Saturday game had to be postponed through snow. As they not only won, but shared the £10,575 receipts from a gate of 75,818 spectators, Blackburn did not regret their decision. This is a record for a mid-week evening game. In addition to those six games, Everton have played two other under artificial lightings. The one between the England and Scotland Under-23 teams in January attracted 19,327 spectators while the annual friendly with the Army which never pulls in much of a crowd was returned at 5,485.
Eire’s Star Side
Shamrock Rovers have been an outstanding club in Eire football for many years. Winners of the League of Ireland championship on eight occasions since 1921, they have also won the Irish Cup 13 times and the Shield on 14 occasions. This season they are second in the League table. Many players who have made a name for themselves in English football served their “apprenticeship” with the Rovers, including those two former Everton stalwarts, Peter Farrell and Tommy Eglington, whose transfer to Goodison Park 12 years ago began a friendship between the two clubs which has never since wanted. At the moment the Rovers have not selected their team for tomorrow, due to four of their players having been engaged last night in a match between the League of Ireland and the Irish League at Belfast. These were centre half Mackey, right half Nolan, and their two wingers McCann and Tuohy all of whom are Eire internationals. In addition to these four Shamrock Rovers have provided many other internationals for Eire in post-war football including, in addition to Farrell and Eglington, other Evertonians in O’Neill, Clinton, Donovan, Stevenson, Corr and Cummins, making eight in all with Goodison connections. Among other Shamrock Rovers players to win Eire caps one can recall Breen, Godwin, Kiernan, Dunne, Coad, Ambrose, and O’Connor to mention only the better known. There have been quite a few others, and Shamrock’s record as a provider of internationals must be without parallel in Eire football annuals. When Everton played the Rovers in Dublin during a close-season tour last year, the home team won 4-2 while Shamrock confined Manchester United to a 3-2 victory at Old Trafford last October, in the return game in the World Cup, after the Mancunians had run riot by 6-nil in Dublin a fortnight earlier. At the moment Shamrock are second in the League of Ireland table and fancied by many for yet another championship victory.
Senior Cup Decision
After tomorrow’s game Everton have another floodlit engagement on Tuesday evening of next week, when they meet Liverpool in the semi-final of the Liverpool Senior Cup. During and since the last war the two have met several times in this competition, usually in the final, and often the games have been among the best of the season. After consultation between the clubs it has been decided that each will field their strongest possible first teams next week, which means another big attendance at Goodison Park, for there is nothing like a “Liverton” meeting to whip up interest between supporters of the rival clubs. Reserved tickets for this game, at 6s are now obtainable at Goodison Park.
ONE FOR THE TALL STORY CLUB?
March 19, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Everton’s reported intention to spend £120,000on new players in the close seasons caused many eye-brows to lift inquiringly, not least mine. Spending £120,000 is not necessarily the answer, but if Everton had that sum to spend and spent it how happy their followers would be. It surprises me very much, in these days of the credit squeeze that any club in the land has £120,000, much less that they propose to spend it. Everton, it is true, are one of the wealthiest clubs in existence, but so much of their wealth is in bricks and mortar. I gather the club are still searching hard for new players and that they will arrive in due course, but if Everton were to spend £120,000 on them it should be vastly surprised. The report sounds to be to be like one from TV’s tall story club. Meanwhile, having come down to earth from the dizzy £120,000 heights it can be said that Everton’s floodlit game night against Shamrock Rovers, at Goodison Park, will be the brightest friendly ever put on. Now the Everton pylons carry an extra twenty blubs each –these pylons by the way are the highest of their sort in Europe –the lighting should be the best ever seen here or anywhere else in the world. Donovan is to play at centre half in this match, Jones being rested. Fielding also stands down for the seventeen-year-old Ashworth to come in at inside left and on the left wing Graham Williams will replace Brian Harris. Everton; O’Neill; Sanders, Tansey, Rea, Donovan, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Ashworth, and Williams.
EVERTON RACE TO AN ESY VICTORY
March 20, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Ian Hargreaves
Everton 2, Shamrock Rovers 0.
Everton’s lean young whippets sprinted to a comfortable victory over Shamrock Rovers under the newly –augmented Goodison Park floodlights last night. The Irishmen, hard as they tried, were always a yard or more slower to the ball –and without it –and rarely cut through with sufficient dispatch to trouble O’Neill. Whether it as Shamrock’s slowness or the effect of the extra lights –these were so bright one can conceive players being reluctant to play under normal sunlight –Everton’s youngsters often looked jet-propelled. Jimmy Harris on the right is known as a flier but he was little if any faster than ting Graham Williams on the other flank, whose sudden dashes resembled nothing so much as the flight of a Chinese cracker, swift, explosive and unexpected. Nobody could accuse Williams of being full. His excursions were obviously to the liking of the few spectators who braved the biting wind, and if his colleagues rarely seemed to know quite where he would turn up neither did the men supposed to be marking him. The game was something of a triumph for Dave Hickson, if only because he at last succeeded in getting the ball into the net a couple of times. So rarely has he scored in recent months he must have been glad to obtain two goals even on such a comparatively unimportant occasion. Everton’s success tended to flatter them for they had very little to beat. Shamrock played some attractive football in midfield, and one could admire the Irish blarney of Hamilton at inside right as he tried to cajole his colleagues into action, but there was little thrust near goal, and throughout O’Neill had scare half a dozen genuine shots to handle.
Tansey To The Rescue
Ambrose might have scored early in the game when he took advantage of an O’Neill error to loft the ball back into a deserted goalmouth but the reliable Tansey was there to head off the line, and ever after Ambrose remained securely in the charge of Dan Donovan, solid as a rock at centre half. The early stages were notable mainly for several fine saves by O’Callaghan, probably the warmest man on the ground and for Thomas efforts to exploit Harris’ dash and shooting power. Burke headed of the line at one end and Tansey at the other, before Everton took the lead right on the stroke of half-time. Thomas, Everton’s most improved player of the year with his relaxed manner and easy control, suddenly found Hickson all alone on the edge of the penalty area and Hickson did the rest.
The second half threatened only brief danger of an Irish revival before Everton regained command and it was not long before Ashworth who did several useful things without quite looking a first team challenger had brought out the best in O’Callaghan with a lovely right foot shot from about twenty yards. Hickson and Harris joined in the assault and at last in the 72nd minute Thomas found Hickson in the goal mouth with a curling centre that completely deceived Mackey, Hickson duly scored but was unable to claim the third goal that would have given him a long overdue hat-trick. Not a bad match but lacking in atmosphere and tending to emphasize how little appeal there is in floodlight football on a cold night when nothing is at stake.
March 20, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Dave Hickson, who has been off the goal standard for a long time, came back to it last night with two good efforts against Shamrock Rovers, and but for an offside decision might have had a hat-trick. Unfortunately these goals don’t count for much, and neither does the game itself, though it produced spasms of attractive football for the 8,656 brave souls who had the hardihood to forego the “telly” and stand out in the bitter cold. Or maybe these were the folk who don’t have television. I know which I prefer on such a night –and you can guess it in one. Floodlit football is all right when there is something really vital at stake. When there is nothing that matters and the game has no “atmosphere” it becomes nearer to punishment than pleasure on such a night. For the first half hour or so the football was good. Then it went off, and until Hickson put the Blues in front 20 seconds before half-time one yearned more and more for the comfort of the fireside. Hickson got another at the 70th minute from a brisk Everton move which saw the ball taken from one end of the field to the other with three passes –Meagan, Donovan, Thomas –and then wham – Hickson put the appropriate finishing touch to it. Under more comfortable conditions and with a bigger crowd to provide the atmosphere which a small gathering cannot, this game could have been more entertaining. As it was, I longed for the final whistle and could again little consolation for becoming more like an icicle from the fact that Everton’s superior fitness told in the long run and that we saw a few good shot’s from Ashworth Jimmy Harris, Hickson, and Williams. Harris had many opportunities to show his speed and did so in a manner which meant that he, at least was not enabled to the marrow. In the first half Shamrock Rovers were twice saved from going into early arrears when Burke and Nolan cleared off the line from Williams and Harris. Tansey performed a similar salvation act for Everton while O’Callaghan made three or four first-class saves in the second half.
EVERTON TRY AGAIN TO LAY PORTSMOUTH BOGEY
March 21, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
One of these days Everton must bring to an end their long failure to beat Portsmouth, who since football resumed after the last war, have proved the Goodison Park club’s most relentless and persistent bogey team. Tomorrow’s meeting will be the eighteenth post-war occasion they have met, with Portsmouth winning no fewer than fifteen and drawing one of the previous encounters, leaving Everton the cold consolation of their 1-0 victory in 1946 as the only relief in the dismal succession of disappointments. It is not only the fact that Portsmouth have won so often that rankles with Everton and Pre nature of the successes have in several instances been humiliating. On one occasion Pompey won 7-0 at Fratton Park twice they have won 5-0 and once 6-3. Two of the three latter occasions have been at Goodison Park which makes it doubly hard to beat. In these 17 post-war home and away games Portsmouth have scored 55 goals whereas the Blues have totaled only 15. Maybe Everton can help redress the adverse balance tomorrow with a glut of goals. I said maybe. Nothing that has happened recently, apart from the display against Preston North End has greatly encouraged hopes of Everton breaking out as prolific scorers. Yet they have so often contrived to make scoring openings by nicely-balanced approach work that I still cling to the hope that the tide must eventually turn. When it does the goals for which their supporters have been yearning will surely come. Portsmouth have been having an anxious time this season and though their recent slight improvement has lightened the Fratton Park gloom somewhat they cannot yet regard themselves as completely out of danger.
Poor Away Record
Their away record, which is what concerns Everton most, is a very poor one. They have won only two away matches both in the first few weeks of the season, when they defeated Tottenham and Manchester United, two excellent performances. Unfortunately for Portsmouth they have since been unable to produce anything so satisfactory and their ten subsequent away engagements have provided only two points, the result of drawn games at Sunderland and Leicester. The man Everton will have to watch most carefully, and who has often had a gala day against them, is outside right Peter Harris. He has not only been Portsmouth’s top scorer during many past years, but leads the way again this season with 15 goals. Next in order of merit is inside right Gordon with ten. Portsmouth; Uprichard; McGhee, Gunter; Phillips, Rutter, Dickinson; Harris, Gordon, Dougan, McClelland, Govan.
WILLIAM ON THE WING
March 21, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Team To Meet Portsmouth
Everton make one change in their team compared with that which lost at West Bromwich last week for tomorrow’s home game with Portsmoth. On the strength of his display in the friendly against Shamrock Rovers on Wednesday Williams gets the outside left berth in preference to Brian Harris. The latter would have been doubtful in any case as he has a heavy cold. Elsewhere the side is unchanged. Everton; O’Neill; Sanders, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Fielding, Williams.
Everton Reserves (at Huddersfield) Dunlop; Donovan, Hillsdon; King, Labone, Clayton; Todd, Mackey, Llewellyn, Haughey, Godfrey.
ONE VICTORY AND ONE DRAW IN 17 ATTEMPTS
March 22, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s Chance To Lay A Bogey
Home; 1-0, 0-2, 0-5, 1-2, 1-5, 2-3, 0-2, 2-2, ??
Away; 1-2, 0-3, 0-4, 0-7, 3-6, 0-5, 0-1, 2-3, 2-3
The above two lines of figures tell the doleful story of Everton’s post-war matches with Portsmouth. Summed up, the record is of one victory, one draw, and 15 defeats, with 15 goals for and 55 against. Can Everton, at long last, break the spell this afternoon when the Hampshire club pay another visit to Goodison Park? The corresponding game last season brought a 2-2 draw, which least called a halt to Pompey’s run of 13 consecutive victories after their lone-goal defeat at Goodison back in 1946. Since then, however Portsmouth have chalked up another two wins at Fratton Park, albeit by narrower margins than in former days. If Everton do not record an overdue victory today supporters might be excused for thinking that Portsmouth are one team they will never beat again, for the Sailors come in an unusually low position being sixteenth in the First Division table. At long last the time seems ripe for Everton to master their old-bogey. Last season was Portsmouth’s worst in post-war soccer, for they earned only 33 points and conceded 92 goals, respectively their lowest and highest such totals in the past 11 years. At the moment they have 27 points and 64 goals against, so they seem likely to finish up in a rather better position than last time. Even so however, they are nothing like the power they were in the days when they chalked up two consecutive First Division championship successes. The team of those days obtaining such the players like Jimmy Scoular, Duggie and Jack Froggatt has long broken up the only survivors being Jimmy Dickinson and Peter Harris, most of whom have been thorns in Everton’s side on many occasions. Dickinson has played in all 17 post-war clashes between today’s opponents and Harris in all but the first two. The winger has scored nine goals and has helped in many others while Dickinson’s solid defence and clever prompting have made him a worthy adversary, one who has usually been in dominating mood against a succession of Everton inside forwards. Dickinson has never been noted as a goal-scorer, even among half-backs, but Harris has been a wonderfully consistent marksman ever since he first came into the side, and needs only another six goals to pass Billy Meredith’s long-standing record for a winger. Outside leader of the club’s scoring list on four occasions, Harris also shared that distinction with Reid on one season and even at this stage of his career he has a clear lead over his nearest challenger, having netted 15 times to Gordon’s ten, although the latter has supplemented his total with two cup-tie goals. Harris has two hat-tricks to his name this term, in the 5-1 defeat of Tottenham and the 5-0 beating administered to Luton. Portsmouth completed their only double so far when winning 5-3 at White Hart Lane, but if past results are anything to go by they will be hopeful of their ability to chalk up a second such success this afternoon having beaten Everton 3-2 last November. At outside left today is a player who is no stranger to Goodison Park –Alex Govan the little Scot who has signed just before last week’s transfer deadline, and celebrated his debut by scoring the only goal in the defeat of Aston Villa. Govan was obtained as a replacement for Scottish international Jackie Henderson, who has gone to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Centre forward and inside left have been the problem position in the Portsmouth attack for while the right flank has remained largely undisturbed the changes have been rung persistently in these places. Dougan a tall young Irishman who is said to be very promising, has appeared in both spots, as has McLellan the former Tottenham player, while four other men have been tried in the middle and four more in the number 10 jersey. These include Barnard, the Hampshire cricketer and Weddle one of the many products of the North East to have slipped away from Newcastle and Sunderland.
Portsmouth have made severe profitable excursions into the transfer market during their history. One of the most notable buys was Bert Barlow recruited from Wolves shortly before the 1939 Cup Final, later to score the first goal against his former club in that well-remembered Wembley meeting and to claim seven in four games against Everton, another of later vintage was Ike Clarke, who came from West Bromwich Albion at a time when he could be classed in the veteran stage, yet played a great part in the title successes of 1948-49 and 1949-50. Now manager Eddie Lever is hoping for big things from young Sammy Chapman, whom he recently recruited from Mansfield Town, Chapman a clever ball player and an Irish “B” international netted 17 goals, for the Nottinghamshire club prior to his move. Another Irishman in the Portsmouth ranks is that often injured goalkeeper, Norman Uprichard, while right-back McGhee hails from Manchester and was often capped as an amateur before joining the paid ranks. Everton’s defeat at West Bromwich was no surprise, but the long run of home disappointments was ended in the Everton game and a Portsmouth have only won two away matches all season, their could well be another home win for Goodison team.
HARRIS, THE BOGEY MAN, ON THE MARK AGAIN
March 22, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Portsmouth Defeated –After Twelve Years
Everton 4, Portsmouth 2
Everton; O’Neill, goal; Sanders and Tansey, backs; Rea, Jones (captain), and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J.), Thomas, Hickson, Fielding and Williams, forwards. Portsmouth; Uprichard, goal; McGhee and Gunter, backs; Phillips, Rutter, and Dickinson, half-backs; Harris (P.), Gordon, Dougan, McClallan, and Govan, forwards. Referee; Mr. T.S. Blenkinsopp (South Shields).
Everton, with the wind at their backs were soon on the attack, Fielding bringing Uprichard into action with a shot from out of the penalty area. Jones had to concede a corner to hold off Dougan after the centre-half had first been beaten by an awkwardly bouncing ball. Dougan headed over from the flag kick following which the ball was changed. O’Neill having drawn the referee’s attention to some fault. A Portsmouth attack fizzled out when Dougan kicked ground and ball simultaneously and provided O’Neill with a simple pick-up when he might have had something more difficult. Uprichard dived to the foot of the post to turn away a header by Thomas and saved at the same spot from Williams but in this case the ball was swerving outside. Phillips was the starting point of a move which almost brought a goal. Douglas lofting the ball over from six yards when harassed by Jones and Meagan. Nothing was going right for Hickson but there were mitigating circumstances, for the wind was troublesome. Hickson also came in for some very vigorous charging by Rutter who conceded three foul’s within a few minutes. Williams had hard lines with a header off a corner by Harris, McGhee clearing off the line. At the 33rd minute, Peter Harris, who had hardly touched the ball, came into the game and gave Portsmouth the lead. The move began on the left and when Govan lofted the ball over and Gordon misheaded it into the air, Harris was on hand to hook into the net from eight yards. Within a couple of minutes Everton should have been on level terms when Hickson flicked the ball in front of Thomas. The latter skied it over the bar when almost on the six yards line. Dougan shot weakly and wide when an awkwardly bouncing ball once more enabled him to get the better of Jones. He should have done better with only O’Neill to beat.
The football continued on ragged lines with passes frequently going adrift. Everton were the worst offenders, yet they were still holding the advantage territorially and Portsmouth could regard themselves as fortunate to hold an interval lead. Right on half-time Hickson completely missed his shot when offered an opening by Thomas.
Half-time; Everton nil, Portsmouth 1.
The second half started as the first had finished with an Everton player Thomas this time completely missing the ball when all he had to do was give a tap to a Williams centre to level the scores. After another foul on Hickson by Rutter, the referee called both players together and had a word with them, much to the astonishment of Hickson, who was entirely blameless. He had his back to Rutter when he was brought down, though seemingly quite accidentally. At the 53rd minute Everton drew level and it was fitting that the scorer should be Graham Williams who had been the most decisive of the very ordinary Everton forward line. Fielding, gaining possession just outside the penalty area, looked up before chipping the ball across to Hickson, who allowed it to go on to the on running Williams, and a fierce shot had too much power behind it for Uprichard to turn it out, although he got his hands to the ball. Everton’s joy was short-lived for within four minutes Portsmouth had gone in front again. McClelland collected a through pass by Govan and toe-ended the ball just inside the post. There was no force behind his shot, but O’Neill was unable to reach it. Fielding’s efforts to get the home forward line moving were not meeting with much success though that was not the fault of the veteran, who had been more accurate with his passing than anybody else. His colleagues could make no headway against quick tackling and clever covering.
In The Air
For some minutes Everton turned on heavy pressure. The ball was too often in the air, however, which made it easier for the visiting defence. The best chance for some time came to Thomas, who had a couple of seconds to steady himself before taking his shot, which went a couple of yards over. At last Everton’s pressure brought the equalizing goal. At the 78th minute Jimmy Harris won a corner when Uprichard saved his angled shot, and from the flag kick Fielding hit a first timer which might have gone into the net of its own accord, Thomas, however, stuck out a foot and deflected it well out of the goalkeeper’s reach. Three minutes later Williams, coming in at top speed flicked a perfect pass by Fielding into the net to put Everton further ahead. Fielding had thus made the final pass for each of the three goals. With four minutes to go Thomas attoned for some of his earlier misses by getting a fourth goal after a mix-up in the Portsmouth defence. Final; Everton 4, Portsmouth 2. Attendance 23,179.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CROWD’S ROAR
March 22, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
By Don Donovan
At the time of writing I don’t know if Manchester United have reached Wembley, but I believe the success they have enjoyed so far has been due to the crowd at Old Trafford. They willed United into the semi-final. I am not trying to belittle the Manchester United players, but I believe one of the main reasons for their successes has been the vocal encouragement of their supporters. You may think I am over-emphassing this point of vocal support, but many matches are won by the roar of the fans and many are lost for lack of it. One has only to play in a match at Liverpool or Everton to appreciate the value of the home crowd. The Spion Kop roar must be worth a goal start to the Reds and at Goodison it is much the same when you hear the Gwlady’s Street end. The home crowds also have a big influence on certain players in that they help to bring out the best in them by their encouragement. But I would prefer the player who though he may not seem so brightly, always give 100 per cent effort at home or away matches even though he may miss public acclaim for it. There are other advantages in playing at home. For instance the feel of the turf, which counts for a good deal. Also the crown of the pitch which makes the ball run more quickly from the centre as it does at Goodison.
One Team Only
There are several grounds where supporters only see their own team on the field, I know it stands to reason that the greater share of the encouragement must be for their own side, and the sound of supporters shouting for their favorites is surely one of the grandest things one could wish to hear but the visiting team might be just as good or even better, yet it gets very little applause from the home crowd. From my own experience I know this is not so at a few grounds. For instances Arsenal, Tottenham, and Chelsea supporters give as much credit to the away team as their own. Outside the “big smoke” the majority of football crowds only want to see their own team with irrespective of how they manage it. Rival teams of course have followers present, but the noise they make is like a clap compared to a bang. There are only two occasions I can remember when the boot was on the other foot. At Manchester in the semi-final against Bolton Wanderers, the Everton followers by their terrific encouragement nearly got the team to Wembley after they had been four goals down at half-time. The other occasion was also in the Cup, when Everton visited Sheffield Wednesday. The cheering throughout the game by our supporters was really fantastic. The Wednesday outside left said he’d never heard such encouragement either home or away. Make no mistake a crowd can save a match that is all but lost. That is mainly why I believe that Manchester United have made such a comeback, a revival that goes beyond the abilities of the young players and the men beyond the scenes.
Difference in play throughout the world of soccer was emphasized further on Wednesday evening during our game with Shamrock Rovers from Dublin. It was quite apparent that the Irish lads were just that fraction of a second late either when tackling or passing. They were inclined to bunch and pass the ball over short distances, gaining no ground whatsoever. This type of game may pay off in Ireland, but I’m afraid they would come off worse against keener competition.
HUDDERSFIELD RES V EVERTON RES
March 22, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Huddersfield Res; Fearnley, goal; Conwell and Ramsey, backs; Battyre, Cockeril and Low, half-backs; Howard, Hepton, Bain, France, and Metcalfe, forwards. Everton Res; Dunlop, goal; Donovan and Hillsdon, backs; King, Labone and Clayton, half-backs; Todd, Mackay, Lllewellyn, Haughey, and Godfrey, forwards. Referee; Mr. R.V. Splittle (Ripon). Everton dealt with several fast home attacks in the opening quarter. Twice Clayton intercepted cleverly when Huddersfield swung the ball into the goalmouth. Todd and Haughey linked promisingly on the Everton right until Cocker intercepted the inside left’s pass. In town’s next raid Metcalfe’s accurate centre was headed away by Labone. A defensive error a most let in Mackay but his well placed drive had not the power to beat Fearney. Later the home goalkeeper went full length to save a header from Llewellyn around the upright. Three minutes from the interval Bain put Huddersfield ahead by gathering Metcalfe’s centre into the net. Half-time; Huddersfield Town Res 1, Everton Res nil.
BE HONEST WERE YOU AMONG THEM?
March 24, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Everton 4, Portsmouth 2
Be honest! Were you one of the many hundreds (I saw you) who left the Everton ground when the score was 1-2 and arrived home to find that Everton had won 4-2? If you were I will offer no censure. The cold was bitter (almost as bitter as some Evertonians at the interval) and nothing Everton had done until that magic eight minutes from the end was calculated to warm feet, much less hearts. It was then the loyalists –by this time some 20,000 –got their reward. How they cheered those three goals. It isn’t every day that Everton get four, it isn’t every day Fielding makes four, it certainly is not every day Everton score three times in so short a space of time to beat Portsmouth, here or anywhere else; indeed the record showed that Everton had not beaten Portsmouth, at Goodison Park since 1946. Delighted as I am as you must be, with Everton’s second successive bag of four at home we must temper enthusiasm with good sense. If the game ended ten minutes in advance we should have gone home satisfied that Everton have not changed their spots. Instead, we were able to go home congratulating ourselves on staying and them on worrying their way though to a result which had seemed all but impossible.
Little Graham Williams whose general play left something to be desired, scored two of the goals which sent Portsmouth back surprised and disappointed but let none suggest that any other’s but Fielding’s was the foot which conjured this triumph. It was there in all four goals and the contented, un-theatrical way the maker of goals went his way when they were scored contrasted vividly with the marionette learning’s of Williams – not that I blame him for bouncing about as he did like a rubber ball with legs. Twice Portsmouth led; twice Everton rubbed off the lead and finally they rubbed our Portsmouth –sweet revenge for the many hiding they have accepted here and at Portsmouth. Never an odder first goal in that Harris on the right had not touched the ball in over half an hour’s play when he volleyed it in direct from the nod of the tall Dougan Williams first goal came from a similar volley (he must have shouted to Hickson to stop him attempting, a header) after Fielding looking more like himself in long sleeves had due up the perfects lofted pass from the inside right position. Govan’s pass which produced the chance from which McClellan put Portsmouth in the lead again was an equally good one, but that McClellan appeared to shin the ball in. Certainty it just found the gap near the far post –and at no great speed.
Then with the end in sight Thomas flicked in another Fielding pass Williams with a similarly easily –taken goal also from Fielding’s prompting put Everton in front and Thomas profited from a defensive blinder to make it 4-2. So the mysterious gun fire –some of it machine gun –which sounded across the Park at one stage was repeated in the happiest of ways by an Everton attack which had not looked good enough to help the team to win much less by 4-2 after standing 1-2 down. Portsmouth’s attack was not as good as one anticipated. Dougan deceptively good because he is such a big man and moves fast when he seems to be merely toping, hit few good shots. Once Tom Jones got the hang of things against this mountainous Irishman, he played well, but there was always the possibility that Dougan would nod a goal from a out flung centre. Rea, Fielding excepted was the man behind Everton recovery. I am told he is having a little stout medic daily to help him build a bigger frame. He stayed the course well and was an outstanding contribution. Hickson played hard and well, and cleanly. The backs with Sanders, determined and full of life did as they usually do. Dickinson was as busy and as successful as Rea. Portsmouth may have lost their way more through the injury to McClennan which caused him to go outside left for a good part of the second half, than through Everton’s determination but whatever the cause Everton beat their bogey –and dramatically. The situation is eased, yet the need for players of size (and class is urgent as ever).
LLEWELLYN MISSES CHANCES
March 24, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Huddersfield Town Res 2, Everton Res 0
If centre forward Llewellyn had accepted two easy chances in the last 15 minutes, Everton might have gained an underserved point. Although they had the game’s most accomplished forward in Haughey the Everton line did not move with the speed and understanding shown by the home team, for whom Bain and France scored. Dunlop’s goalkeeping and the steadiness of centre-half Labone were the main features of Everton’s defence. Everton’s team was Dunlop; Donovan, Hillsdon; King, Labone, Clayton; Todd, Mackay, Llewelly, Haughey, Godfrey.
TEAMS FOR “LIVERTON” SEMI-FINAL GAME
March 24, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Both Everton and Liverpool will field full-strength first teams for their floodlit match at Goodison Park tomorrow evening in the semi-final of the Liverpool Senior Cup, starting at seven O’clock. Despite the chilly weather, which is not exactly ideal for night matches, there is sure to be a good attendance, for “Liverton” meetings between the senior sides never fail in attractiveness to Merseyside football enthusiasts. Liverpool will turn out the team which defeated Notts County at Nottingham on Saturday, registering a welcome and long-delayed away win, but Everton make one change bring Albert Dunlop back in goal in place of O’Neill who has been a little below bar in the last two matches. The teams will be; Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Fielding, Williams. Liverpool; Younger; Molyneux, Moran; Wheeler, White, Wilkinson, Bimpson, Murdoch, Liddell, Melia, A’Court.
NOT TOO BRILLIANT
March 24, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Providing one is concerned solely with the result of a game, rather than the standard of play which produces that result, then there was some satisfaction in the fact that Everton at long last brought their doleful sequence of non-success against Portsmouth to an end. But that was about all the compensation from a display which produced very little class football from either side, which had too much end-of-the-season flavor about it, and which for the most part was a sore trial to the patience of the spectators. For a long time I have been trying to convince myself, often against the weight of evidence that Everton could not keep on missing scoring chances as they have been doing in recent months. Alas –and despite the fact that they got four goals – they were as bad as ever in this respect against Portsmouth. Four goals on the credit side seems fairly conclusive, making it appear churlish to be too critical, yet, the fact remains that with the chances they had Everton should have finished up nearer double figures. Three times players, completely missed the ball when attempting shots with only the goalkeeper to beat. On many other occasions shots from between six and ten yards out were put well on the wrong side of the woodwork. Mind you, this was a day when it was not to easy to do the right thing as it appeared to the onlookers. A nasty swirling wind caused the ball to play curious tricks and it was bitterly cold, though the players did not suffer from this so much as the benumbed spectators. The ground was also bone-hard and not calculated to help towards accuracy. Yet, making all allowances Everton’s finishing at times was atrocious and some of those responsible must have felt like doing penance in sackcloth and ashes. Thomas, one of the main offenders partially rubbed out the memory of his lapses by two goals which brought his total for the season to 13 and made him the side’s leading scorer in League games Jimmy Harris has the same aggregate but that includes one scored in the F.A Cup. The two forwards to earn most praise were the oddest and one of the youngest, Fielding and Williams. Taking the latter first the display of Williams was an encouraging one. Though the perky little winger is a good way from being the finished product, he has much to commend him, not least his propensity for cutting into the middle and being ready to snap up anything which may come along. Both his goals were the result of this tendency. The first was hit with such power that even though Uprichard got his hands to the ball he could not turn it round the post and the second was an almost dainty flick that gave the goalkeeper no chance. On this showing Williams is worth persevering with, despite the criticism to which he has been subjected from some quarters. While Fielding’s outstanding contribution was the fact that he made the passes which produced the first three goals, it was his all-round generalship and clever exploitation of both long and short balls as defence-spitting measures that gradually laid the foundation of victory. At one time it looked as though all his work would go for nothing due to the frittering away of chances and half chances and also the fact that for a period his efforts just failed to reach the right men. But in the end he did the trick and Everton safely “banked” two points which at one time never looked like coming their way. Twice they were in arrears each time against the run of play, and it says something for their fighting sprint, whatever else their shortcoming that they kept pegging away until they were able to turn their territorial superiority into goals. The vital period came in the last twelve minutes when many onlookers had begun to despair. Then three goals in eight minutes turned a 1-2 deficit into a victory which was in no way flattering considering the amount of pressure which Everton had earned almost throughout the game.
Defensively, Everton were not as good as they might have been against a side whose forward line was very ordinary. For once Tommy Jones did not command the middle with his customary solidity. He was beaten several times through misjudging the bounce of the ball and when it was in the air the tail and lively Dougan despite a tendency to clumsiness was never properly mastered. Sanders, too, had a patchy sort of game, but Tansey was consistent throughout and Peter Harris usually the danger man of the Pompey attack was rarely seen apart from his goal and one or two other isolated efforts. Rea was the most outstanding defender always working hard to infuse punch into the attack and doing his stuff competently throughout. Hickson had no luck at all. His scoring efforts of any note were few and far between and he came in for unnecessarily robust treatment from centre half Rutter. No wonder Hickson looked amazed when he was called up by the referee for a word of admonition along with Rutter, Hickson had just been floored by the latter from behind and was an innocent as a newly-born babe. Apparently some of the Portsmouth players for symonthy with him and two battled him consolingly on the back. Seeing that this was Everton’s first win over Portsmouth since they defeated them here in 1946 there was room for some improvement but on the evidence of Saturday it was one of the worst Portsmouth teams I have seen for years. The forward line was disjointed with Peter Harris hardly ever in the picture and though the defence seemed sound enough most the time, it went to piece in the later stages. At this period of the season teams occasionally looked jaded and out of harmony, but in view of their lowly position I anticipated more determination from the visitors than they showed in the last half hour.
TONIGHT’S GOODISON PARK ATTRACTION
March 25, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Dunlop Is Back In Everton Goal
By John Peel
Merseyside football followers should be in for a treat this evening as a result of the meeting of those friendly rivals Everton and Liverpool who meet in the semi-final of the Liverpool Senior Cup under the Goodison Park floodlights, Kick-off 7 O’clock. Both teams will be at full strength for the game, Liverpool fielding the same eleven who were successful over Notts County at Nottingham on Saturday and Everton playing the eleven who vanquished Portsmouth at Goodison Park 4-2 with the exception of O’Neill who is displaced in goal by Dunlop. This evening’s evening marks the third clash between the clubs under floodlights this season. The first was won 2-0 by Everton at Goodison and the second at Anfield, by Liverpool by the odd goal in five. With both sides having shown good form in their most recent games a dour struggle should be the outcome of this encounter. Teams; Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Fielding, Williams. Liverpool; Younger; Molyneux, Moran; Wheeler, White, Wilkinson, Bimpson, Murdocks, Liddell, Melia, A’Court.
ANY REASON IS VALID FOR A “DERBY” GAME
March 25, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Any meeting between Everton and Liverpool first teams can be relied upon to excite the interest and argumentativeness of supporters of both clubs, and tonight’s game between the pair in the semi-final of the Liverpool Senior Cup is no exception. It matters little on these occasions what is at stake or even if nothing really vital is involved. Any reason will do for Evertonians to prove that their team is better than Liverpool’s, while Anfield supporters are equally eager to prove the opposite. Since football fortune or dainted that our two senior clubs should operate in different whereas of the Football League the supporters of both have sadly missed the bi-annual League matches, which were always the tidbits of the season and often produced bigger attendances than F.A. Cup games. Latterly we have had to be content with their occasional meetings in the Liverpool Senior Cup and that memorable Cup-tie match which gave Liverpool supporters such joy but this season we have had a welcome “bonus” in the shape of the two-leg fight for the Liverpool County F.A Jubilee Cup, which now resist in all its glory in the centre of Everton’s board-room showcase. There it will remain, for the Cup was awarded outright to the winners on the aggregate of the two games. But I shall be extremely surprised if somebody does not think up some reason for further floodlits engagement between the two clubs next season to take the place which the Jubilee Cup filled Last autumn. That should not be different. I could suggest one or two sound ideas myself. But in the meantime we have tonight’s game to think about and though the bitter weather recently has not been conceive to tempting lukewarm followers from their firesides there are enough hardly among the solid core of soccer enthusiasts in the city to make the attendance a good one- no matter what the conditions may be.
A Close Game
In past years the Liverpool Senior Cup –which incidentally is an exceedingly handsome trophy and even more impressive to appearance than the F.A Cup –has provided us with several excellent games between Everton and Liverpool. Some indeed have been voted the best displays of that particularly season. If tonights encounter lives up to the standard of most of its predecessors it should be a match worth seeing and one to remember. The result is difficult to foresee. If Everton’s forwards “click” and can finish off their approach work in the right manner Tommy Younger may be retrieving the ball from the back of the net oftener than he has done on most occasions this season. On the other hand if Liverpool’s defence which has been reasonably consistent all the season, is in its most-dominant mood, the result might well go their way. Whatever the outcome, I cannot see there being more than a goal or two in it all the finish and it is a toss-up which way the advantage may rest. This will be the third meeting between the teams this season. When they clashed earlier in the season in the Jubilee Cup Everton won 2-0 at Goodison, Thomas getting both goals in the second-half when he came on as a substitute for Fielding, who was injured a minute before the interval. Liverpool won the return game at Anfield 3-2 but could not pull subsequently matches as both back the deficit, to ensure that the Cup landed on their board room sideboard.
A Wise Decision
The attendance for the two previous games provided ample evidence since confirmed by subsequently matches as both grounds that the provision of floodlighting was a wise expenditure though not everybody was convinced of that when the decisions were first taken. Liverpool’s visit to Goodison which marked the first game under the Everton lights produced an attendance of 58,771 the match at Anfield also the first floodlit game on the Liverpool ground was witnessed by 46,784 people. Since then of course there has been further and very convincing evidence from Goodison Park that Everton are getting a lucrative return from their investment. Matches which would have produced only an average attendance if played on a midweek afternoon have pulled in tremendous gates at night. That was particularly so with the Blackburn Rovers cup tie which was watched by 75,818 people, the Sunderland cup repair (56,952) and the rearranged League games with Arsenal (54,345) and Blackpool (47,665) Liverpool have not endeavored to cash in on floodlighting to the same extent preferring to concentrate their efforts on the promotion bid but the facilities’ are there for any rearranged League games such as the Derby County match recently and for only friendlies they feel included to stage in future years. Teams; Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Fielding, Williams. Liverpool; Younger; Molyneux, Moran; Wheeler, White, Wilkinson, Bimpson, Murdocks, Liddell, Melia, A’Court.
Ex-Evertonian –Gwyn Lewis, formely of Everton and more recently with Rochdale is now Chesterfield’s leading marksman with 20 goals.
EVERTON WIN, DESERVEDLY
March 26, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 2, Liverpool 0
Liverpool Handicapped by Injury
Having played three hours at Goodison Park this season without scoring Liverpool must look upon the their neighbours as something o a bogey. In last night’s Liverpool Cup semi-final Liverpool rarely looked like beating Dunlop, even before the first half injury reduced Simpson to a limping midfield passenger. After that their chances of victory were negligible though it took Everton a long time to establish any sort of supremacy. Once Williams opened the scoring after 59 minutes, however the result was never in doubt and although Liverpool fought hard to the end, they finished definitely second best. Matches between these rivals are rare enough to be a great attraction and even a comparatively unimportant meeting on a cold night with rain in the air brought an attendance of 30,353. If most of these went home chilled and disappointed it is not surprising. Only rarely did the football touch the standard expected of a First Division and one fighting for a place in that division there were a few incidents which did nothing to enhance the reputation of the participants and even the atmosphere usually associated with these games was lacking for much of the time. In the end Everton were well worth victory which enables them to meet the winners of the Tranmere v. Southport game. There can be little satisfactory, however, for their display did not indicate a glorious finale to a disappointing season.
There was little punch in the front line, Hickson being left unsupported for much of the time –and neither inside-forward came into the picture to any extent. The wingers tried with enthusiasm but for the most part found the close attention of two resolute backs too much for them. Fortunately for Everton however, wing halves Rea and Meagan had rather the better of matters in midfield and with Jones keeping a tight grip on the centre; Liverpool’s handicapped front line had few chances to develop movements likely to threaten Dunlop. When Liverpool did frame a promising raid the inability of Bimpson to move freely was always a drawback and all too often McNamara playing against his old club slowed down the line with unwanted deliberation when a more straightforward approach was required. Once again the old maxim “Stop Liddell and you stop Liverpool” was borne out. Although the Scot fought with all his usually tenacity, he could rarely get the better of Jones and the colleagues who were quick to rally to the aid of the centre half even when Liddell did carve put half a chance. For an hour Melia was the game’s best forward, dribbling cleverly and switching the point of attack but in the closing stages he faded badly and as a result the play of the lively A’Court had to suffer. Defensively Liverpool have no cause to reproach themselves for Younger maintained his excellent form and White left Hickson little room in addition to covering both full-backs when need arose.
Only at left half were Liverpool rather below par for Wheeler had one of these days when his long passing was none too accurate and Wilkinson again revealed a lack of pace which told against him. Most of the goalmouth escapes took place in front of Younger but none was sufferently close to cause him undue concern until at the 58th minute when Williams was in position to score a simple goal when a cross-shot by Harris unwittingly turned into a perfect pass. The second goal with a quarter of an hour left for play again showed that in Thomas Everton have a useful inside forward who can turn a half chance to good advantage. When the ball reached him from Harris, Thomas was sideways on to the goal and none too nicely placed but the promptly had the ball under control, wheeled round to beat his man and then settled the issue by thumping the ball in from, close range.
UNLUCKY LEGACIES OF SENIOR CUP
March 26, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
By David Prole
Liverpool’s exit from the Liverpool Senior Cup last night meant more than mere defeat, galling though that always is of the hands of neighbours Everton. The match also contained injuries to Bimpson and McNamara and with Jackson already out of action the club is left with a large scale right wing problem to be faced prior to Saturday’s vital future with Ipswich Town at Anfield. The game had scarcely begun when Bimpson pulled a muscle which was to leave him wandering virtually helpless around a variety of forward positions, with little other than nuisance value. McNamara showed no sign of being damaged but after the match examination revealed that he too had a leg injury likely to keep him idle on Saturday. Bimpson’s enforced rest is almost sure to prevent turning out again until after the Easter games. For Liverpool to face a problem over the outside right position is nothing new. Certainly on his display last night. McNamara did nothing to convince Evertonians that he is a better player now than he was at the time of his many trials and rejections when wearing blue instance of red. Often in possession, he almost invariably slowed down the attacks when speed of though and action was vital at there was to be any chance of a goal from a handicapped front line facing a defence quick to cover and speedy into the tackle. The number of shots Liverpool leveled at Dunlop could virtually be counted on the fingers of one hand, without using the thumb. Indeed the only really first class effort was a typical one from Liddell great speed and with a lack of urgency and very often in a lateral direction, so that even when the thought of a shot was there, the avenue for one was not. The result was that the interpassing was bound to break down sooner or later. As often as not the Liverpool attackers became enmeshed to a complicated tangle of their own weaving until Jones or another defender was able to step in with comparatively ease and boot the ball to safely.
The Straight Line
Everton too, were often remiss in attack, although in Hickson and Harris they had two men who realized that the straight line is often the quickest way to progress even if it meant attempting the impossible task of running straight through a brawny body to achieve the object. Time and again Hickson found himself on the ground and the ball safely cleared but his dashes served a purpose in giving the visiting rearguard to last respite. Had the inside men been up to the mark the task of White and company might well have been far more severe. The Liverpool centre half played his part manfully and his backs lent him good support but Wheeler and Wilkinson had to give best to Rea and Meagan whose task was naturally simplified by Bimpson’s inability to raise a gallop. At the other end Jones restricted Liddell’s rations to starvation proportion and once again the stiffing of the leader means that the rest of the line was never really dangerous near goal. For a “derby” game this was n odd, undistinguished affair with more shows of petulance than are usually the case in these clashes. Shots were few and far between although both goalkeepers had abundant chances to show their judgment and handling ability when it came to dealing with high centres.
With the ball bounding high off a pitch which felt rain too late to yield control was not as it should be, and passes were often misjudged. The 30,352 spectators created little of the atmosphere usually associated with these clashes and a scrambling struggle had few real thrills to cheer, a fortunate goal by Williams and the superbly taken second “ball” by Thomas being the exceptions. Can it be that Merseyside followers have had so much floodlit football this season that they are becoming sated? Or perhaps they have just had too much football.
DEATH OF MR. TOM NUTTALL
March 26, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Vice Chairman
The death took place at Liverpool Royal infirmary today of Mr. T.C. Nuttall vice-chairman of Everton F.C., after a brief illness. He was 67 years of age. The news was a great shock to Mr. Nuttall’s many friends for he only went into hospital following a thrombosis, on Saturday morning last and at first seemed to be making good progress towards recovery. Although Tom Nuttall was only elected to the Everton board in June 1951, he had been an Everton supporter all his life, and for many years was one of the leading spirits of the Shareholders Association. He threw himself, whole-heartedly into the work of the club upon joining the board and his keen business acumen and football knowledge was of great benefit to Everton. He was a member of the Finance Committee and chairman of the Playing Staff sub-committee. In the latter direction a tremendous amount of work fell upon his shoulders following the resignation of Mr. Cliff Britton from the club’s managerial position two years ago, a task which he tackled with great energy and determination. His labours in this connection led to a short illness a year or so ago, but he made a complete recovery and until recently, although obliged to take matters a little less strenuously than he wished he appeared to be in good health. It was very largely Mr. Nuttall’s lead to all the other clubs at a special meeting in Manchester two years ago which killed a suggestion by the League Management Committee that the like television of football matches should be allowed. He made a long speech pointing out the threat inherent in the idea, and carried the meeting with him to such an extent that the proposal was thrown out by a big majority. He was also responsible with the support of his co-direction for producing a scheme which led to a change of League rules last year by which clubs are now compensated for loss of gate revenue through the postponement of League matches due to Cup-tie clashes from the F.A Cup pool, instead of individual clubs having to pay out big sums. In many other ways Tom Nuttall did excellent work, not only for the Everton club in particularly but for football in general and his wise counsel will be sadly missed. His death means that there will now be two vacancies to be filled at the annual meeting of Everton shareholders as the position occupied by the late Mr. Ernest Green has not yet been dealt with. In business Mr. Nuttall was a dried produce merchant with offices in North John Street. He resided at Sefton Lane, Maghull and was for many years associated with the Maghull club.
March 27, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
For their away game with Birmingham City, Everton will play the same eleven as that which defeated Liverpool on Tuesday night in the Senior Cup semi-final which means that Dunlop who was preferred on that occasion to O’Neill retain his place in goal. His last League appearance was against Newcastle on February 22. Dunlop; Sanders, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Fielding, Williams.
EVERTON RETAIN DUNLOP
March 28, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton retain the same team that defeated Liverpool in mid-week for the League game with Birmingham City tomorrow. This means that Dunlop, who dropped in favour of O’Neill at the end of February, regains his place in goal. The Everton team is; Dunlop; Sanders, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Fielding, Williams.
EVERTON HAVE CHANCE TO TURN THE TABLES
March 28, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton away to Birmingham City, have the opportunity to extract some consolation for the home defeat in the Midlanders last November when Birmingham became the first team to win at Goodison this season. It was that defeat which really signalized the beginning of the long period of Everton’s non-successes, which has only recently been halted, being their victory at Burnley and the two recent home wins against Preston and Portsmouth. The displays served up against Preston was most encouraging. Another of the same calibre tomorrow might bring victory against a side which has been doing nothing startling in frost of its own supporters all season. Birmingham have won only six home games out of seventeen, but when they have won there has been no argument about the margin for in these six matches they have scored 20 goals against four. They have also drawn five times at home, and lost the resulting six games, some by as large a margin as that they have won. This in and out form has been almost as marked in their away engagement, and altogether Birmingham as so often in post-war year’s all again an unpredictable side. Capable of rising for a high standard when at their best they are just as likely to drop to the other extreme. They were defeated 7-1 at Tottenham and 8-nil at Preston and on five other occasions have had five goals against. The defence which some season ago, used to be the cast-iron varies, seems very indifferent these days. In that fact one sees some hope for Everton, providing the Blues can consider the irritating habit, which has become so pronounced lately, of falling with simple scoring chances from close range. The return of Dunlop to goal will please many of the club’s supporters. It was something of a minor sensation when he was dropped a month ago, and though their did well in his first two games the Irishman has not been up to expectation since. Now he has regained his position I am sure Dunlop will be keen to consolidate his claims. His early season displays were well up international standard. There is no reason why he should not resume them. Dunlop; Sanders, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Fielding, Williams.
March 29, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Ironically on the day of Mr. Tom Nuttall’s funeral yesterday Everton made the decision to include in their League team for the first time eighteen-year-old Brian Labone, the former Liverpool Collagiate schoolboy, whose arrival at Everton was so much due to Mr. Nuttall Labone an outsize in schoolboys when he joined the club, turned professional last July and has been playing brilliantly in the Central League. He gets his chance against Birmingham at St. Andrew’s today because Tom Jones has a groin injury. The prospects are that Labone will make a big impression. He has the physique, ability and intelligence to become a first-class player. Out of difficulty so far as relegation is concerned Everton can afford to look to the future and Jones injury gives them opportunity to see just how good Labone can be in top class. Birmingham with joint Managers, are still not the side they were and Everton with Thomas and Fielding playing so well are likely to continue their useful climb in the table. Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Tansey; Rea, Labone, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Fielding, Williams.
TWO HOOPER SNAP-SHOTS
March 29, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Fail To Recover
Birmingham 2, Everton 1
Birmingham; Schofield, goal; Hall and Green, backs; Walls, Smith and Neal, half-backs; Astall, Larkin, Brown, Orritt, and Hooper, forwards. Everton; Dunlop, goal; Sanders and Tansey, backs; Rea, Labone, and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Fielding, and Williams, forwards. Referee; Mr. A.E. Ellis (Halifax). Brian Labone, the 18-years-old former grammer school player, who was signed by Everton last July made his first team defeat in place of Jones, who has a groin injury, Dunlop was in goal, another change compared with last week’s team. The Everton players wore black armbands in memory of Mr. T.C. Nuttall, their vice-chairman who died this week. A beautiful through pass by Neal produced an opening for Brown, but before the home leader could get in his shot Labone cut across and put the ball behind. Labone was shaping very well and a feature of his work in the early stages had been his obvious desire to find a colleague with his clearances. There was no question of getting the ball away haphazardly.
Williams and Hickson in turn made a valiant effort to bore a way through but in each case fell a victim to superior numbers. Good work by Orritt gave the Everton defence a little anxiety until Sanders cleared his lines lustily, Meagan’s passing continued very accurate but the Birmingham defence stood firm and Scholfield was still practically unemployed. Hooper veered over from outside to the inside position in a dazzling dribble. Then he ruined it all by tamely shooting yards wide. The Everton goal had a narrow escape when Brown was through with only Dunlop to beat. The Everton keeper dashed from goal turned his body sideways to the shooter and rather luckily blocked Brown’s shot. Although Everton were contributing some attractive approach work, they were still unable to produce anything in the way of shooting to worry the home goalkeeper. Several times moves which had been cleverly worked more than half the length of the field petered out through over-elaboration or hesitation. Birmingham were no better but they managed to take the lead at the 35th minute through Hooper. Picking up a pass from Larkin, Hooper rounded Sanders but by that time was so badly angled that it seemed impossible for him to score. Somehow or other he managed to squeeze the ball in under the body of the diving Dunlop. Everton dashed away straight from the restart and Harris looked an almost certain scorer from the inside left position, Scholfield however, ran out to narrow the angle and got his body in the path of Harris’s shot. Labone was not long looking quite so confident in the early stages and one misplaced pass opened up a shooting chance for Orritt. He was off the mark. Actually the best shot came from a defender just before half-time when Smith took the ball up to the edge of the penalty area, beating three men on route and then delivering a tremendous drive which almost scraped the angle. At the 41st minute Birmingham got a snap goal when Astall took a long and quick throw-in and Larkin allowed the ball to run on to Hooper, then in the centre forward position, who had it in the net almost before Dunlop could move. Birmingham were now well on top and in their next attack the massive Neal –but a brilliant header inches over the bar. The game had been turned almost inside out in the last six minutes and Everton’s defence had lost all its earlier poise. Half-time; Birmingham 2, Everton nil. Williams and Hickson tried long shots which had no hope of beating any goalkeeper. Thomas did much better and after beating two men in the close dribble had his 12 yards brilliant effort saved by Scholfield.
Then it was Birmingham’s turn to regain the initiative for a while, and Dunlop had to make a smart save from Hooper to prevent the home winger completing his hat-trick. Dunlop turned the ball round for a corner and from this he again saved well off Neal. Everton were by no means out of the running, inspired by Meagan and Fielding and with Thomas always an eager trier, they hammered away at the Birmingham defence and at the 61st minutes’ deservedly reduced the arrears. Thomas was the scorer with a grand header off a centre by Harris, the ball hitting the foot of the post before entering the net. A couple of minutes later Harris almost made a second goal when he crossed a low pass which Scholfield fumbled. The ball ran on to Williams only a couple of yards from goal but it came to him awkwardly and was scrambled away before he could do anxiety with it. A free kick to Birmingham led to Green trying a shot which swerved only inches outside the posts with Dunlop helpless. Birmingham were now doing more shooting than at any previous period of the game. The home goal had a narrow escape following a free kick against watts when Smith headed off the line during a mix-up in the home goalmouth.
Passage At Arms
Fielding and Neal had a passenger-at-arms which caused the referee to speak to them both. Of the two Fielding it seemed was more aggrieved partly and rightly so. Dunlop saved a terrific first-time shot from Astall at the expense of a corner and then Neal tried one which was only a yard off the target. Birmingham were doing the major portion of the attacking who Everton limited to occasional raids. Labone was finding his baptism of senior football anything but a picnic against the speed of Brown and the inter-changing of the home forwards but he was sticking to his task courageously and still continued to use the ball to advantage whenever possible. Final; Birmingham 2, Everton 1. Attendance 21,628.
EVERTON RES V MAN CITY RES
March 29,1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Res; O’Neill; Donovan, Hillsdon; King, Billington, Gannon; Todd, McKay, Temple, Ashworth, Godfrey. Referee, Mr. D. Pritchard. City opened in sparkling fashion, and twice O’Neill’s antipation came to the rescue. After Ashworth had missed a Todd centre, he made amends in the sixteen minute by shooting and a minute later Temple added a second. Everton were encouraged by this surprised lead and both McKay and Gregory had good efforts well saved. City were still dangerous however, and Clark tested O’Neill while Donovan cleared off the line after Kirkham had rounded the Everton goalkeeper. City kept up the pressure for several minutes during which O’Neill saved with the expanse of a corner . Half-time. Everton 2, Manchester City 0.
THE CUP FINAL-AND WHAT IT MEANS TO FOOTBALLERS
March 29, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
By Don Donovan
It is not the World Cup which will be on the minds of millions of soccer fans and players in the coming weeks, but the Cup Final at Wembley. You can say what you like about winning the League but to a player a Cup medal is the thing. I have yet to meet a player who would not give anything to tread the Wembley turf on Cup Final day. In fact I know many internationals who could forfeit half a dozen caps if they thought that it would enable them to get to Wembley and gain a winner’s medal. One of the most important factors for a team getting to the final is money. The Cup means cash, and in many cases the clubs that reach the final pool all the money they get for writing articles and making television appearance. You can therefore understand the keenness in Cup-tie football when there is so much at stake.
You often find that clubs who reach the Final fall away in the League, owing to some of the players refusing to take the chance of getting injured. There are some players who save themselves when there is a possibility of their missing the great day through injury. The reason that possibly never again will they get the chance to play in the Cup Final at Wembley. Only solution is for the Final to be played about two weeks after the semi-final or else play it after the league programme is ended. I don’t think there is anything so unfair as keeping the final so far apart from the semi-final almost six weeks. From what I have been told the mental agony during this period of waiting is terrible. What a grand and fitting final we may see this year. With Manchester United lads victorious over Fulham during the week, it gives us the opportunity of perhaps hailing the greatest fairly tale of all time. I don’t wish to say more.
Before I close I would like to offer congratulations to our young inside forward, Jackie Keeley, who was married last Monday morning. This likeable lad, born and bred in Liverpool made his first team debut a few months ago, scoring with almost his first kick of the game at Bolton. He has passed from the limelight to the shadows for the present but with so much ability on his side he is sure to be back. So from the lads Jack, it’s the best of good wishes to yourself and the new Mrs. Keeley.
THE OLD, OLD STORY
March 31, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton’s Finishing Erractic
Birmingham City 2, Everton 1
Although there were periods in this game when football bore a decidedly end-of-the-season flavor these were comparatively isolated and on the whole the standard was reasonably satisfying. The biggest drawback so far as Everton were concerned was the lack of finishing in the front line. If there had been greater penetration in the first half hour, when the visitor were the better balanced and more promising team, the result might have been very different. Unfortunately they produced few shots likely to make much impression upon a competent goalkeeper. There was far too much tip-tapping and lateral passing against a Birmingham defence clearly determined to allow the opposition neither time nor space to work the ball. During their period of early supremacy Everton’s forwards were well backed by the excellent work of Rea and Meagan at wing half. Meagan in particularly was outstanding not only for his interception and timing when on the defence, but also for the excellent use he made of practically every ball. Rea also did good work in this direction, and with Fielding contributing his usual scheming, Everton looked as though they might get the better of the Birmingham team.
The Turning Point
The turning point came in the 35th minute, when Hooper got the better of Sanders for the first time and put the home side in front with a shot from an acute angle. He was four yards from the upright and only about half a yard from the dead ball one, but somehow or other he managed to squeeze the ball under Dunlop’s body as the Everton goalkeeper dived. Six minutes later Hooper, this time from the centre forward position, hooked the ball in brilliantly following a quick throw in, so that Everton against the run of play, found themselves two goals in arrears. Justice would have been done had the teams gone off at half time with the score level, but at least Hooper deserves credit for his opportunism. The second half was a ding doing struggle, with the advantage doing first one way then the other, and Everton always looked as though they might get on terms. As it turned out all they could manage was one goal scored by Thomas with a well judged header from a centre by Harris. In his effort to make sure that Scholfield could not get to the ball, Thomas almost put it wide, but unfortunately for Everton it hit the inside of the post and trickled into the net.
Everton fought desperately hard for the equalizer, and could count themselves a little unfortunate not to get it, for more than once they had the home defence in a tangle. On general balance, however, Birmingham just about deserved their victory. Goals do not come without shooting, and in this direction the home side were certainly superior in the second half. Labone, making his first senior appearance for Everton, started off confidently and for the first half hour played soundly and encouragingly. He seemed a little shaken, however, when Birmingham got their two goals, and lost his poise for some extent. He was by no means a failure and right to the finish was always seeking to play good football and make wise use of the ball with his clearances. He was never ruffled but Brown’s speed sometimes caught him at a disadvantage. Dunlop made some excellent saves, none better than one of Hooper which prevented the home winger completing his hat-trick, yet he was not as good as he can be. Meagan and Neal spared the honours as the star wing halves of the match, though there was a big difference in their style of play, Meagan was the more dainty and precise and Neal the go-getter who was always seeking to have a shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Hickson Well Held
Fielding and Thomas were the best of the Everton forward line, with Harris shinning only in spasms. Hickson was well held by Smith and got few chances to test, Schofield. Birmingham were well served by Hall, who gave Williams very little scope to show his paces, while Hooper and Brown were the pick of their forward line. Two incidents are worthy of note, Fielding and Neal had what seemed to be an almost friendly argument which resulted in both being called together for a word or warning from referee Ellis. It happened when Fielding, lying on the round, found Neals foot caught between his legs, and kept them together tightly in such a manner to prevent the home player getting his foot free. Then right at the finish, Harris had his name taken when a linesman reported in attempt to kick Neal.
Goodison Park Attraction
The Liverpool County F.A. Youth side tonight meet the full international youth team of Eire F.A at Goodison Park (7-P.M). The Liverpool F.A. team are entirely composed of the young players of Everton and Liverpool and have three youth internationals in their side. The Irish side are composed of the best players in Southern Ireland.
TEMPLE BACK AT HIS BEST
March 31, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Reserves 2, Manchester City Reserves 0
Both teams served up some delightful football with Everton earning victory because their forwards, particularly the inside trio, had the greater thrust and finishing power. In the second half the visitors goal bore, a charmed life but Everton failed to augment the goals so splendidly taken by Ashworth and Temple in the 16th and 17th minutes respectively. City looked capable of knocking off the arrears until their forwards were mastered by a determined home defence in which the full-backs, Donovan and Hillsdon, and right half King stood out. Temple showed a welcome return to form by leading the well balanced Everton attack with skill, zest and confidence.
NO OFFER FOR DONOVAN
March 31, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
A statement that Donovan is likely to be signed by stoke City is news to Everton. They have received no offer from Stoke and the matter has not been discussed by the Everton board. Even if any offer is forthcoming I gather it is by no means likely they would agree to part. Donovan’s reaction was also one of surprise. “I have heard nothing at all about it,” he said, “and would not like to leave Goodison Park, where I have always been happy and well treated.”
EVERTON’S OLD FAILING COST THEM A POINT
March 31, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
This Easter week-end is fought with important consequences for many clubs. With three fixtures in four days it may prove the making of some and the breaking of others, but so far as Everton are concerned they can look to the holidays with a reasonably easy mind. After the tears which beset them not so long ago, when it seemed they might possibly be faced with an anti-relegation struggle, the Blues have strengthened their position with seven points from the last seven games; and with a bit of luck might have drawn against Birmingham. That they failed to do so was due to the old, old story of lack of finish in rounding off some quite attractive approach work especially in the first half hour when they looked –bar the lack of shooing –the more promising team. There were several instances not only then but later when Everton resembled Liverpool in the manner in which they made maximum progress with a minimum of effort and inter-passing. Unfortunately, they fell down at the point where an instant and powerful shot was called for, and were too prove to hesitancy in, and around the penalty area, a fatal tendency against the rugged and resolute Birmingham defence. They could justily claim that the luck was against them to be two goals in arrears at the interval, but Birmingham reaped the reward of the opportunism of Harry Hooper, whose only connection with the outside left berth for a big proportion of the game was the number or the back of his shirt. Hooper had the urge always to be where the ball was, and if his first goal was a “jammy” one, scored under Dunlop’s diving body from an almost impossible angle, his second was a real beauty, hit with power and precision on the half-turn from the vicinity of the penalty spot.
The Deciding Factor
Hooper’s contribution was the game’s deciding factor. Both goals were scored inside six minutes at a time when the home spectators were getting more than a trifle caustic at Birmingham’s lack of punch which was just as bad up to that point, as Everton’s had been. In the second half the home team pulled up their socks to better purpose, and showed that they had realized the necessity for first-time marksmanship even though they were a bit wild with many of their efforts. Everton were always in the game with a possible chance of a draw after Thomas had reduced the lead with a header from Harris’s centre just on the hour, but apart from isolated occasions, they looked less likely to get an equalizer than Birmingham to increase their lead. Chief interest for the small band of Everton supporters who went to St. Andrews was centred in the display of debutant Brian Labone at centre half. Remembered that Labone is only just 18, and that less than a year ago he had no greater experience than grammar school football, I though he shaped most promisingly. True, he has plenty to learn yet, a fact which he realizes himself, but he did enough to indicate that he has all the making I a fine player. He was at his best in the first half hour when he seemed full off confidence. Those two quick goals shook him a lot, as they would have shaken many a more experienced centre half, but he still kept on trying to play good football and use his clearances to the best advantage.
No Need For Regret
Many a youngster would have jettisoned his text-book ideas and just belted the ball away haphazardly. To his credit Labone never once did that. He had a difficult man to mark in Brown, who not only can turn on a nice burst of speed, but has a tendency for wandering around which occasionally succeeded in pulling Labone out of position. The Everton lad will learn as time goes on. He is the type likely to do so quickly, too, for he approaches the game intelligently and realizes that even the best of players can learn something from almost every game. This outing will have done him a power of good and he has no need to look back on it with any regrets. Dunlop, restored to the first team in place of O’Neill was not the commanding player in the goal-area he can be at his best. He misfielded one or two Birmingham efforts, but those sort of things happen now and again, and so far as the goals were concerned he could not be blamed. He also made several excellent saves at a time when Birmingham were on top and thirsting for further goals to clinch their territorial superiority. I thought Meagan the best defender of the field. There was intelligence and class in everything he did whether in defence or constructive attack. What a player this lad would be if he had another few inches in height and a stone or so extra in weight.
A Useful Contribution
Rea also had a good game, though he faded a little in the closing stages, while the backs could rarely be seriously faulted. It was in the forward line that Everton were most remiss. Harris had an in-and out game and Hickson and Williams were disappointing Hickson rarely escaped from the net drawn around him by the towering Smith, who may not be quite so brilliant as he was but is still a grand centre half. Fielding and Thomas were the most consistent men in the front line. The former’s ball play and distribution left little to be desired and if Thomas had been just a fraction quicker on a couple of occasions he might have added to his goal tally. As it is he has now scored 11 of the side’s last 14 goals in League games, a contribution which has been largely responsible for the recent improved points-gatherings. Birmingham’s Neal who cost them £20,000 from Lincoln last season has settled down into a very competent left-half but Hooper despite his two goals, was not consistently outstanding. Sanders had him well bottled up for the first half hour, and kept him reasonably subdued after the interval. Towards the finish there were a couple of incidents not of any great moment, which led to Referee Ellis doing a bit of finger-wagging while Harris had his name taken following a momentary fit of petulance – not without some justification.